Putin has ‘no interest in genuine peace’ in Ukraine, says Sunak

Rishi Sunak has condemned Vladimir Putin’s “escalating nuclear rhetoric” and said the Russian leader has no interest in “genuine peace” in Ukraine.

The Prime Minister, speaking at a peace summit in Switzerland, said aggression “cannot and will not prevail”.

Russia was not invited to the summit and Mr Sunak said the Kremlin had mounted a diplomatic campaign urging countries to stay away.

Swiss officials hosting the conference expected more than 50 heads of state and government at the gathering at the Burgenstock resort overlooking Lake Lucerne.

Around 100 delegations including European bodies and the United Nations were represented,

Mr Sunak, who took a break from the General Election campaign to attend, said: “I recall my first visit to Kyiv where I saw the explosive devices that departing Russian soldiers had placed in children’s toys and footballs.

“There can be no justification for that.

“There can be no justification for escalating nuclear rhetoric.

“There can be no justification for disrupting food supplies to tens of millions of vulnerable people.”

He said “Putin has no interest in genuine peace” and “he has launched a sustained diplomatic campaign against this very summit, ordering countries to stay away”.

“Why does Russia feel that they are so threatened by a summit discussing the basic principles of territorial integrity, food security and nuclear safety?”

Mr Sunak said a “just and lasting peace” could only be achieved if it is based on international law and the United Nations charter.

“That is the path to a permanent cessation of hostilities,” he added.

“Showing that we will always protect the right of all nations to determine their own future.”