Saudi summit helped isolate Russia, set-up Ukraine’s peace initiative for success – Podolyak

August 9, 2023, 17:00



Mykhailo Podolyak (

Mykhailo Podolyak ( 

The recent summit in Saudi Arabia achieved many of Ukraine’s key aims, said Presidential Office advisor, Mykhailo Podolyak, on Aug 8.

“In my opinion, the summit in Saudi Arabia has resolved three fundamental tasks. But have no illusions, of course, there wasn’t any sort of breakthrough… It’s the beginning of great work… First, the summit has zeroed out the international reputation of Russia,” Podolyak said.

“Second, we’ve put Russia outside the parentheses. Thus, a Ukrainian initiative [for peace] has become dominant in creating a post-war world.”

The summit’s third accomplishment is apparent in the insulting rhetoric from Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova and other Russian officials in regard to the summit and its participants, Podolyak said.

“It is especially noticeable in regard to Saudi Arabia as an organizer of the event. It means Russia has started attacking even those taking a neutral stance, moving itself towards full isolation,” Podolyak said.

Two days of negotiations on the Ukrainian peace formula took place in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Aug. 5-6.

Ukraine and its Western allies pitched the talks as an effort to rally global support behind appropriate conditions for ending the war, The Wall Street Journal reported on Aug. 6.

After the talks in Jeddah concluded, diplomats said there was broad acceptance that central principles of international law, like respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, should be at the heart of future peace talks between Ukraine and Russia.

In Jeddah, Ukraine and the major developing countries appeared determined to find a consensus. A senior European official said that Ukraine didn’t push again for its peace plan to be accepted and other countries weren’t insisting that Kyiv drop it. Nor was there any disagreement over Ukraine’s demand for the withdrawal of Russian troops.

There was agreement on pursuing more detailed work on the global impact of the war, and most countries attending, including China, appeared willing to meet again in the coming weeks in the current format, with Russia excluded, according to people involved in or briefed on the closed-door talks.

The biggest difference between the Copenhagen and Jeddah meetings was attendance – more than twice as many countries attended or dialed into talks on Aug. 5. That included European countries, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Turkey, and South Africa.

While no date has been set for a third meeting, there was agreement on a two-track process to move forward. Ukraine will continue discussions with foreign ambassadors in Kyiv on peace conditions.

At the same time, Saudi Arabia plans to propose a set of working groups for specific issues raised in the Ukrainian peace plan, some of which touch on the global impact of the war.

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