A senior Ukrainian official said on Monday that the weekend’s talks in Saudi Arabia about Ukraine’s war dealt a “huge blow” to Russia, and that the participants agreed to attend another conference of political advisers in six weeks.
More than 40 countries, including China, India, the United States, and European countries, but not Russia, participated in the discussions, which were interpreted as Kyiv’s attempt to assemble a bigger coalition of powers to support its vision of peace.
“We will hold another meeting within a month, month-and-a-half and we will move towards (holding) a summit,” presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak told reporters at a briefing in Kyiv.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has promoted a set of 10 principles that Kyiv wants to serve as the basis for peace to end the full-scale war launched by Moscow in February 2022.
The principles include the withdrawal of all Russian troops and the return of all Ukrainian territory to its control.
Yermak said all the countries present at the talks in Jeddah fully supported Ukrainian independence and territorial integrity, and that only peace initiatives put forward by Ukraine were discussed at the meeting.
He acknowledged a lack of agreement remained between participants on some points of Ukraine’s peace formula, without elaborating further. He said that was the reason a summit would not be held by the end of this month.
Those points were still being discussed, he said, adding that participants were working on a draft framework document that would be adopted at a future peace summit.
Ukraine hopes the talks in Saudi Arabia will help pave the way to a peace summit that would back Zelenskiy’s vision of peace. Moscow has written off the diplomatic effort as doomed to fail.
Yermak said the approval of Zelenskiy’s peace plan would likely require two summits, one that would adopt a framework agreement with a plan being finalised at the second summit.
Between those two meetings, the various sides would hold separate conferences on each of the peace plan’s points, he said.
“We are ready to hear everyone, but it is logical that it should be the Ukrainian (peace) formula,” he said.
He also told the briefing that Russia had made efforts to disrupt the talks in Saudi Arabia, but provided no details of how Moscow had done that.