India on Sunday refrained from signing a joint communique recognising Ukraine’s territorial integrity amid Russia’s war on the European country, saying that “only those options acceptable to both the parties can lead to abiding peace”.

This came at the “Summit on Peace in Ukraine” that was held at the Canton of Nidwalden in Switzerland on Saturday and Sunday. Ninety-two countries, not including Russia, participated.

Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, triggering the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II.

The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said that the aim of the peace summit was to “develop a common understanding of a path towards a just and lasting peace in Ukraine”.

At the end of the summit on Sunday, over 80 countries signed the joint communique that said that the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine must be the basis for “comprehensive, just and lasting peace” in the region. India was not one of them.

Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (West) Pavan Kapoor on Sunday said that a process towards peace required “bringing together all stakeholders and a sincere and practical engagement between the two parties to the conflict”.

He said: “In our view, only those options acceptable to both the parties can lead to abiding peace. In line with this approach, we have decided to avoid association with the joint communique or any other document emerging from this summit.”

Kapoor said that India would continue to engage with all the stakeholders, including with Russia and Ukraine, to achieve “lasting peace”.

Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates were among the other participant countries that did not sign the communique.

Switzerland, on its part, said that it had “repeatedly signalled its openness to extending an invitation” to Russia for the summit. “However, Russia has indicated many times that it has no interest in participating,” the Swiss foreign affairs department said. “Therefore, no formal invitation was issued to Russia.”

Moscow on June 11 called the summit an “idle pastime” and said it was “absurd” to hold it without Russia, The Indian Express reported. “This is a completely absurd activity,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

Peskov added that it was understandable that some countries were refusing to participate in the summit because the gathering “lacked clear goals”. Peskov said that the meeting was not geared towards results. “That’s why many countries don’t want to waste time.”

Ahead of the summit on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he would order a ceasefire “immediately” in Ukraine and start negotiations if Kyiv began to withdraw its troops from the four regions annexed by Moscow in 2022 and renounced plans to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, AP reported.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance of 30 European and two North American countries.

Ukraine criticised the proposal and called it a “complete sham”.

“There are no new ‘peace proposals’ from Russia,” Ukrainian government advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said in a post on social media. “Entity Putin has voiced only the ‘standard aggressor’s set’, which has been heard many times already.”