SINGAPORE — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged a group of top defense officials at Asia’s premier security conference on Sunday to attend an upcoming conference on ending the Russian war on Ukraine.

Zelenskyy told the group of more than 500 delegates from about 40 countries that he was “disappointed” some world leaders had not yet confirmed attendance at the conference in Switzerland in about two weeks.

He did not specify any country by name, but possible participation of China, Russia’s most important ally, has been seen as a key issue.

Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun spoke earlier in the day at the Shangri-La conference but he did not appear to be in the room when Zelenskyy made his appeal.

Dong, in his own address to the forum, did not specifically mention the Switzerland meetings, but did say “on the Ukraine crisis, China has been promoting peace talks with a responsible attitude.”

He added that China had not provided weapons to either side of the conflict.

“We have never done anything to fan the flames,” he said. “We stand firmly on the side of peace and dialogue.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also attended the conference and sat in the front row as Zelenskyy talked.

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