Maria Zakharova
© SputnikRussian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova speaks during an interview with RIA Novosti in Moscow, Russia.
Kiev's foreign minister had earlier claimed that Russia is "scared" of the event's potential success

Kiev's claims that Moscow is trying to derail the Swiss-hosted Ukraine peace summit scheduled for next month are ridiculous, because the much-hyped event is a hoax in the first place, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

On Friday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba weighed in on a recent Reuters report which claimed, citing senior Russian sources, that President Vladimir Putin was ready to end the conflict by freezing the current frontline, but is prepared to fight on if the proposal is rejected. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that while Moscow remains open to talks, any settlement must meet the goals of its Ukraine campaign.

According to Kuleba, the Reuters report is Russia's attempt to undermine the June 15-16 summit on Lake Lucerne, which is expected to focus on several points of Vladimir Zelensky's peace formula, which Moscow has rejected as unacceptable. Russia was not invited, but has said it would not attend even if it were.

Comment: How could anyone, let alone Russia, take a "peace summit" seriously when one of the two principal combatants is not welcome? Clown show . . . .

The top Ukrainian diplomat suggested that Putin is "scared of [the summit's] success," and that is why "his entourage sends these phony signals of alleged readiness for a cease-fire despite the fact that Russian troops continue to brutally attack Ukraine."

Zakharova vehemently disagreed, accusing Kuleba of "shamelessly lying." She remarked that Russian officials have said hundreds, if not thousands of times, that Moscow is ready for talks on Ukraine, while Kiev walked away from engagement in the spring of 2022 on the advice of the UK.

"As for the 'peace summit...' this is another scam invented by the US State Department. And everyone understands this," the spokeswoman said, adding that such events cannot be held by those sending weapons to the conflict zone.

At least 50 delegations are expected to attend the Swiss-hosted summit. However, Bloomberg reported on Thursday that neither US President Joe Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris will be present, as the Biden campaign is focused on fundraising ahead of November's presidential election.