Russia blasts Saudi Arabia talks on ending war in Ukraine

Moscow: Russia’s Foreign Ministry chided efforts by international officials meeting in Saudi Arabia to find a peaceful settlement for the war in Ukraine, saying the talks don’t have “the slightest added value” because Moscow — unlike Kyiv — wasn’t invited.

Senior officials from around 40 countries gathered on August 6 in Jeddah for a two-day meeting that aims to agree on key principles about how to end the conflict that has raged for more than 17 months.

But without Russia’s participation and without taking into account Moscow’s interests, the meeting was pointless, a Russian Foreign Ministry statement said. It repeated previous assurances that Russia is open to a diplomatic solution on its terms that ends the war and is ready to respond to serious proposals.

Especially significant was the attendance of China, a staunch Russian ally. “What Ukraine really hopes is that China will endorse Zelenskyy’s peace plan,” Al Jazeera reported.

Saudi Arabia said the weekend talks underscored Riyadh’s “readiness to exert its good offices to contribute to reaching a solution that will result in permanent peace,” the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter which works closely with Russia on oil policy, has touted its ties to both Moscow and Kyiv and positioned itself as a possible mediator in the war. The country has backed UN Security Council resolutions denouncing Russia’s invasion as well as its unilateral annexation of territory in eastern Ukraine.

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