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'Not the slightest added value': How Russia reacted to Ukraine peace talks in Saudi Arabia

The two-day conference was hosted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman with diplomats from more than 40 countries, including Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee Moscow Published on: August 07, 2023 19:19 IST
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Image Source : AP Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia's Foreign Ministry on Monday criticised a meeting in Saudi Arabia attended by officials from 42 countries to discuss a peaceful resolution in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, saying it does not add the "slightest added value" because Moscow was not invited to the high-level conference.

The two-day conference was hosted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman with dignitaries from many countries including Indian National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, his US counterpart Jake Sullivan and China's Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui. However, Russia was not invited to the talks. 

A statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the meeting was pointless without Russia's participation and without taking Moscow's interests into consideration. It reiterated that Russia was open to a diplomatic solution to the war on its own terms and is ready to respond to serious proposals. Moscow also said that the meet was a 'doomed attempt' to sway the Global South behind Kyiv.

However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said that Kyiv would not compromise on its demands for a full withdrawal of Russian forces from its occupied areas.

'Very productive': Ukraine on Saudi Arabia talks

According to a report by Voice of America, Zelenskyy's head of staff Andriy Yermak, on Sunday called talks held in Jeddah “very productive." However, Brazil delegation leader and foreign policy adviser Celso Amorim said that Russia must be involved in the process of any "real negotiation".

"The greater the consolidation of the world for the sake of restoring a just peace is, the sooner an end will be put to the bombs and missiles with which Moscow wants to replace the norms of international law," said Zelenskyy in an address from Jeddah.

India's position on Ukraine in the meeting

"India supports the global order based on principles enshrined in UN Charter and international law. Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity by all states must be upheld without exception. All peace efforts involving all stakeholders must be pursued to find a just and enduring solution. It is in this spirit that India participated in the meeting in Jeddah," NSA Ajit Doval was quoted as saying.

He further mentioned India's humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and economic support to countries of the Global South in its policy of promoting dialogue and diplomacy. He also said that India will remain an active and willing partner to find a lasting and comprehensive plan for a peaceful conclusion of the war.

At a bilateral meeting with Russian President Putin on September 16 last year in the Uzbek city of Samarkand, Modi said, "Today's era is not of war" and nudged the Russian leader to end the conflict.

(with inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ | "Nothing will give India more happiness than...': Doval during Saudi Arabia advocated Ukraine peace talks

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