There seems to be a behind-the-scenes effort to rope the Global South into supporting Ukraine and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s ten-point “peace formula” for the capitulation of Russia. On Jan. 9, Bloomberg News reported on a secret meeting held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in December (the exact date of which is not reported) which involved delegations from Ukraine, the G7, and several countries with a “neutral stance” towards the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The meeting was held in secret as some of the participating countries, notably India and Saudi Arabia, Bloomberg reports, have been trying to preserve their respective relationships with Moscow since Russia began its special military operation in Ukraine. Russia was not invited to the meeting; China, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates declined to attend. Brazil contributed only a written statement.
According to Bloomberg, the meeting ended without agreement about how to advance the West’s “Peace Formula,” as Ukraine and members of the G7 nations balked at suggestions from the Global South delegates of direct engagement with Moscow. China’s absence was seen as a handicap in any effective message emerging from the talks, because Beijing is seen as one of the only third parties with any perceived leverage within the Kremlin’s walls.
The next planned peace talks with Ukrainian partners and other countries will take place in Switzerland on Jan. 14, with more than 100 nations invited, a day before the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, to be held Jan. 15-19.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed the Riyadh meeting yesterday as nothing more than a publicity stunt by the Kiev regime. “Speaking in political terms, this was part of the never-ending media barrage focused on Zelenskyy and all of the ideologically driven Western narratives that have been cooked up and dished out [to the Western public],” she said in an interview with Sputnik, reported TASS, adding that this has little to do with finding a resolution to the Ukrainian crisis. “These are two absolutely different, if not conflicting, topics, due to one simple reason: finding a solution to the situation in Ukraine requires laborious work on the political and diplomatic track, which evidently requires talks and communication,” she stressed.