Saudi Arabia starts Ukraine talks without Russia

Saudi Arabia Ukraine Peace talks kick off

Senior officials from around 40 countries, except Russia, will gather for a weekend meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to write fundamental guidelines for ending Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, hailed the diversity of countries participating in the negotiations, which got underway on Saturday. This included developing countries that were particularly severely impacted by the rise in food prices brought on by the conflict.

“This is very important because, on issues such as food security, the fate of millions of people in Africa, Asia and other parts of the world directly depends on how fast the world moves to implement the peace formula,” he said.

Russia stopped taking part in a grain deal mediated by the UN last month, preventing the delivery of Ukrainian goods over the Black Sea to hunger-stricken regions of the world.

Zelenskyy expressed his hope that the proposal would result in a “peace summit” of world leaders in the autumn to support the key principles, which, in his opinion, need to be based on Kyiv’s 10-point plan for peace.

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Respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the departure of Russian forces from territory Moscow claims to have seized are part of the Ukraine’s formula.

Russia isn’t included in the meeting since it disapproved of Ukraine’s peace plan. Kremlin officials declared they would “keep an eye” on the event.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier this week that Russia would “need to understand what goals are set and what will be discussed”.

“Any attempt to promote a peaceful settlement deserves a positive evaluation,” he said.

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