Saudi Arabia to Host Ukraine Peace Talks Without Russia

by | Jul 30, 2023

Saudi Arabia to Host Ukraine Peace Talks Without Russia

by | Jul 30, 2023

russia ukraine war diplomacy

FILE - In this photo provided by Saudi Press Agency, SPA, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman greets Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, right, during the Arab summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Friday, May 19, 2023. While the world awaits Ukraine's spring offensive, its leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy has already launched a diplomatic one. In a span of a week, he has dashed to Italy, the Vatican, Germany, France and Britain to shore up support for the defense of his country. On Friday, May 19, 2023, he was in Saudi Arabia to meet with Arab leaders, some of whom are allies with Moscow. (Saudi Press Agency via AP, File)

Saudi officials have invited diplomats from 30 counties to attend talks on the Ukraine war in early August. While it is unclear which countries will send a representative to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia did not extend an invitation to Russia. 

Riyadh hopes officials from up to 30 countries, including the US, Ukraine, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Egypt, Mexico, Chile and Zambia, will attend the talks slated for August 5 and 6. Western officials desire to use the negotiations to solidify international support for peace talks that are favorable to Ukraine. 

Britain, South Africa, Poland and the EU have said they will attend the summit. National security adviser Jake Sullivan is expected to represent Washington. 

The talks, which will be held in the Saudi city of Jeddah, are similar to a round of negotiations that took place in Copenhagen in June. The purpose of that meeting was to endorse principles that would underpin any settlement put forward by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The talks in Jeddah appear unlikely to advance Russia and Ukraine toward a peace agreement. Currently, Kiev maintains it must retake all Ukrainian territory that Russia controls. Meanwhile, the Kremlin asserts it has annexed about 20 percent of Ukraine, and any deal to end the war must reflect that reality. 

Additionally, Washington is further complicating matters by pushing to prosecute Russian officials for war crimes at the International Criminal Court. Even though the US is not a member of the ICC and has previously threatened to invade the court if Americans were prosecuted, Washington now plans to aid the Hague in punishing Russian officials. The Kremlin has expectedly denounced any effort to charge Russian officials with war crimes. 

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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