Russia Fumes As Saudi Arabia Invites Ukraine To Peace Talks – But Not Moscow

The Kremlin has slammed the talks, saying they don't bring the "slightest added value" to the war.
Representatives from more than 40 countries pose for a picture as they attend talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, August 6, 2023.
Representatives from more than 40 countries pose for a picture as they attend talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, August 6, 2023.

Russia has been left fuming after Saudi Arabia held peace talks for the Ukraine war with 40 other countries – and left Moscow off the invite list.

Saudi Arabia invited delegates from around the world to the city of Jeddah for a two-day meeting to hash out how the war – which began last year when Moscow invaded its European neighbour – might be resolved.

Representatives from China, India, the US and European countries were all in attendance.

But, after the summit concluded on Sunday, Russia’s foreign ministry has claimed that the talks don’t have “the slightest added value”, because there were no Russian representatives there.

Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by state media as saying the meeting was “a reflection of the West’s attempt to continue futile, doomed efforts” to mobilise the Global South behind Kyiv.

It said Russia’s interests need to be taken into consideration, and that Moscow has to partake for any such talks to be meaningful.

However, the country did say it would be open to a diplomatic solution to end the war, and will respond to sincere proposals.

Russia has previously suggested that it will only consider a peace if it’s able to keep hold of the land it is already occupying.

Ukraine – who was invited to the peace talks – has repeatedly said it will only accept an end to the conflict if it is able to retake all of its land, resume the borders it had pre-2014 and for all Russian troops to withdraw. That means also taking back the hotly contested Crimean peninsula.

Ukraine and its allies all appear to have emerged from the talks thinking progress had been made, as the talks seemed to boost international support for the kind of peace Kyiv wants.

The Ukrainian president’s head of staff, Andriy Yermak, said in a statement: “We had very productive consultations on the key principles on which a just and lasting peace should be built.”

Yermak acknowledged different viewpoints emerged in the meeting, but called it “an extremely honest, open conversation”.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he wanted a global summit on those principles to take place later this year.

The war has had a global impact, despite the only active players being neighbouring nations, Ukraine and Russia.

That’s because between them, the countries are major suppliers of grain, fertiliser and fossil fuels.

So far, allies on both sides of the war have steered clear of interfering, out of fear that it may escalate quickly.

And while much of the West openly backed Ukraine in the early stages of the war, other global players, like China, claim they are trying to stay more neutral.

As the conflict continues to knock the global economy though, some analysts perceived China’s decision to attend the talks as a sign it may finally be pushing back against Russia’s invasion.

An EU source told The Guardian China’s representative “participated actively and was positive about idea of a third meeting at this level”.


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