A top Ukrainian official claimed last weekend that progress had been made towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict with Russia at discussions in Saudi Arabia, but Moscow dismissed the meeting as a futile effort to win over the support of the Global South for Ukraine.
The US, India, China, and European countries were among the more than 40 nations in the Jeddah talks, which wrapped up on Sunday.
According to reports, Ukraine and its supporters have described the discussions as an effort to garner widespread worldwide backing for principles that Ukraine wishes to serve as the foundation for peace. These principles include the complete withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory and the restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty over its territory. President Volodymir Zelenskiy has called for a gathering of world leaders to discuss these issues potentially later this year.
According to Saudi Arabia’s Media Ministry, all parties involved recognized the need to maintain communication to achieve lasting peace. European authorities have said that participants want to form working groups to handle war-related issues. Fighting continues eighteen months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, making direct peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia seem unlikely.
Russian state media recently cited Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, stating that the conference was the West’s effort to maintain its ineffective, doomed efforts to mobilize the Global South behind Zelenskiy’s viewpoint.
The war has negatively affected economies, and many governments have been hesitant to take sides in favor of either the West or Ukraine.
South Africa has reported that African leaders participating in peace negotiations over Ukraine have urged to allow Russian fertilizer and grain shipments to renew the accord on grain exports across the Black Sea.
Vincent Magwenya, a spokesperson for South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, said the group had also asked the United Nations to help free 200,000 tonnes of Russian fertilizer trapped at European Union ports.
Since last month, grain prices have skyrocketed in the world’s poorest nations after Russia pulled out of a UN-brokered accord that enabled Ukraine to transport grain across the Black Sea.
Guarantees on another deal affecting Russian exports, particularly fertilizers, have been requested by Moscow.