August 2, 2023: Ukraine greeted Saudi Arabia’s conclusion to host international talks this week on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s offered peace project, a move that could set up reaching negotiations with Russia.
Andriy Yermak, the head of Zelenskyy’s office, stated that Kyiv is working to involve as many nations as possible in the talks, which are slated to occur in Jeddah.
“President Zelenskyy stated that our choice is to unite the world around Ukraine. The evidence of this choice is clear: We are engaging countries from the West, East, North, and South,” Yermak said during a meeting with Ukrainian officials.
The Wall Street Journal reported regarding the weekend that the United States, several European countries, and Brazil were invited to the talks. Russia was not included in the upcoming meeting.
Riyadh claims it has maintained a neutral stance on the Kremlin’s ongoing war, but Western economies have accused the kingdom of keeping oil prices high, an unfriendly move that allows Moscow to finance its war.
Last year, Saudi Arabia helped broker a prisoner exchange involving more than 200 people between Kyiv and Moscow.
The upcoming meeting in Saudi Arabia comes as the Kremlin’s war marches past its 500th day amid a stalled Ukrainian counteroffensive aimed at pushing back the frontlines to liberate Russian-occupied areas.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists that Moscow plans to “keep an eye on this meeting.”
“Is it possible to reach a peace settlement now with the participation of the Kyiv regime and in the context of its current stance? The answer is unambiguous. No, it is impossible,” Peskov added.