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U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan at a news briefing at the White House on Dec. 4, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
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Beijing likely opted out of Ukraine's peace summit at the request of Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on June 15, according to the Associated Press.

Ukraine had extended an invitation to China for the summit back in January, but Beijing declined, citing unmet conditions necessary for its participation. Russia, notably, was not invited to the conference.

"What is clear is that China is not here, and I presume they're not here because (Vladimir) Putin asked them not to come, and they obliged Putin," Sullivan said.

"And I think that says something about where China stands with respect to Russia's war in Ukraine. I think countries should take notice of that."

Following China's decision to abstain, President Volodymyr Zelensky accused China of actively dissuading other nations from attending the summit.

Meanwhile, China has been promoting its own peace plan ahead of the Swiss event, as reported by Reuters. This plan serves as an alternative to Zelensky's proposal, which is supported by Kyiv's Western allies and is set to be discussed on June 15-16 at the Bürgenstock resort.

China's lobbying efforts for its alternative peace plan have coincided with a decline in the number of participants at Ukraine's summit. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported on June 11 that the attendee count had dropped from 93 to 78.

China calls on Ukraine, Russia to start peace talks ‘as soon as possible’
Geng Shuang, China’s deputy representative to the United Nations, called on Ukraine and Russia to “demonstrate political will” to end the war.

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