On Saturday (8/5/23), Saudi Arabia held talks with 40 countries as Ukrainian leaders pushed for a diplomatic way to end the war with Russia. Senior officials from all over the world, including China, Brazil, South Africa, India, and the United States, tried to draft key principles on how they could end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The two-day summit in Jeddah is a key part of a diplomatic push by Ukraine to end the war peacefully.
On Friday (8/4/23), Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed a wide range of countries to the summit, with most of the representatives hailing from developing countries affected by the surge in food prices. However, most countries that have declared neutrality do not seem to be changing their stance. These countries do not want to choose sides, citing that the contest is between superpowers, and they don’t want to be a part of the war.
It is important to note that the summit was closed to the media to keep the delegations private. Fortunately, the gathering is a starting point in what is expected as a great move and push for Ukraine to begin a diplomatic push in the coming months. Ukraine is trying to undercut Russia in efforts to win the war. Be that as it may, it will not be easy, and Russia does not seem to relinquish. Ukraine wants Russia to respect its territorial integrity. They are also seeking Russia to withdraw troops from the regions they claim to have annexed.
Saudi Arabia, the biggest crude oil exporter, is trying to work closely with Moscow and Kyiv to end the war. In essence, Saudi Arabia positions itself as a mediator in the war. If all goes well, it is a good approach to end the invasion, which began in February 2022. Saudi Arabia has strongly backed the United Nations Security Council resolutions to denounce Russia’s invasion. The middle eastern country has also backed the unilateral annexation of the eastern Ukraine territory.
China has remained neutral on the invasion and still does not indicate that they are changing their stance. According to Yun Sun, the director of the China program at the Stimson Center in Washington, confirming their participation in the summit is just goodwill in showing their willingness to listen and discuss ideas. Therefore, China does not agree with any resolutions or recommendations offered in the end.