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Ukraine peace formula discussed in Saudi Arabia, but no final deal yet

With China’s participation being hailed as a “breakthrough,” the summit in Jeddah has reportedly seen the Global South questioning the points on bringing Russia’s leaders to justice, but not the need for Russia to withdraw troops
Jeddah Ukraine talks
Negotiations in Jeddah. Photo:
Ukraine peace formula discussed in Saudi Arabia, but no final deal yet

Representatives from over 40 countries met for two days of talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to discuss Ukraine’s proposal for a peace formula, without the participation of aggressor Russia.

According to Andriy Yermak, head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, the participating states agreed on “key principles of restoring lasting and just peace for Ukraine.” They did not reach an agreement on all points of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s “peace formula,” but dialogue continues on contentious issues.

“If all countries had already said ‘Yes, we agree with everything,’ then we would be holding a ‘peace summit’ by the end of the month. To some points, there are no objections at all, and regarding others, the dialogue continues,” Yermak said, European Pravda reported.

Zelenskyy’s peace formula, presented during a G20 summit in November 2023, consists of ten key points, including the withdrawal of Russian troops and armed forces from Ukrainian territory, the return of prisoners of war and deportees, and reparations for damages incurred during the conflict.

Yermak stressed that the point on Ukraine’s territorial integrity is indisputable. According to him, “there can be no compromises on territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty, and many countries emphasized this.”

His deputy Ihor Zhovkva confirmed that Ukraine insisted that a Russian troop withdrawal from Ukraine is key to the peace plan, refuting reports by the Wall Street Journal that the Ukrainian delegation did not insist on this point.

Ukraine stresses Russian troop pullout key to peace plan

One of the points of the 10-point plan that still remain problematic is that on justice, which provides for the punishment of the Russian political leadership guilty of aggression, war crimes, etc., and compensation to Ukraine, Yermak said.

“We still have to work with the countries of the Global South on difficult points like accountability. But not because they are against it, but because they need more explanation of how this will happen,” he added.

According to him, a meeting of advisers is expected to occur within a month, where issues without final agreement will be discussed.

“At the moment, no other initiatives are being considered apart from Zelenskyy’s peace plan,” Yermak added.

Yermak also said that after the meeting in Saudi Arabia, Ukraine plans to hold two summits on the “peace formula” presented by Zelenskyy, one of the summits involving Russia.

“We did not discuss any timeframes for possible negotiations with Russia in Jeddah… But at the moment the war ends, it will be necessary to involve [the aggressor state],” Yermak said.

China’s participation a breakthrough

As BBC Ukraine writes, Western diplomats and the press praised the participation of official Beijing: Li Hui, China’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, traveled to Jeddah. There was no envoy from China at the previous meeting of this format in Copenhagen.

“We have many differences and we have different positions on many issues, but it is important that we have common principles,” Li Hui said before the talks.

Afterward, Li Hui said that all sides in the talks were moving towards “consensus,” stating that Beijing would remain “impartial” on the conflict and seek further talks to end the war.

Russia did not attend the summit, calling it “a reflection of the West’s attempt to continue futile, doomed efforts” to unite more countries behind Kyiv.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called China’s participation a “super breakthrough” and “historic victory.”

And Wall Street Journal, citing Western diplomats, wrote that Saudi Arabia was chosen as the venue for the summit precisely because Western countries hoped for the presence of a representative from China. After all, Beijing maintains close relations with both Russia and Saudi Arabia.

An EU source told The Guardian that China “took an active part in the summit and responded positively to the idea of a third meeting at such a level.”

With reporting by, European Pravda

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