Andriy Yermak, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, is happy with the peace talks in Jeddah. EPA-EFE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO


Ukraine hails Jeddah summit as a ‘huge blow’ for Russia


Ukraine insists that talks in Saudi Arabia regarding the war with Russia amounted to “a huge blow” to Moscow, while the attendance of China, a key ally of Russia, was praised by the United States.

The gathering in the Saudi capital Jeddah over the weekend of August 5-6, featured representatives from 40 countries, including the US, India, Brazil, South Africa and European countries, while Russia was excluded. The meeting was seen by many as an attempt by Ukraine to create a broader coalition in favour of peace.

At the summit it was agreed to hold follow-up talks among political advisors within about six weeks.

On August 6, Moscow claimed the discussions, which aimed to establish principles for a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine-Russia war, were an “unsuccessful” Western effort to rally support for Kyiv.

Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukraine presidential office, stated during a briefing in Kyiv that all participating nations in Jeddah had expressed “complete backing” for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “We are very satisfied with the results of the summit,” he said.

The US hailed China’s involvement in the talks as “productive”, with State Department spokesman Matthew Miller saying that “China has a role to play in ending the war” if it agrees to “respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”

According to Western officials and analysts, Saudi diplomacy played a crucial role in ensuring China’s participation in the discussions.

Under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s leadership, Saudi Arabia has maintained relationships with both conflicting parties, positioning itself as a mediator and aiming to enhance its global influence.

During a phone call between China’s foreign minister Wang Yi and Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Wang conveyed that China would maintain an independent and unbiased stance on Ukraine, aiming for a political resolution.

Wang’s communication with Lavrov was publicised in a foreign ministry statement on August 7, highlighting China’s commitment to being “a rational and objective voice” in global multilateral forums, while actively supporting peace negotiations.

The ministry’s statement indicated that the talks contributed to reinforcing international consensus over a resolution to the war. Despite China’s participation in Jeddah, analysts suggest it signified “potential shifts” in Beijing’s approach rather than a complete reversal of its support for Moscow.

China’s representation in Jeddah was led by its Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs and former ambassador to Russia, Li Hui.

In May, Li visited six European capitals in an attempt to identify common ground for a future political settlement to the ongoing 18-month conflict.

Russia, for its part, fired rockets into Ukraine on the evening of August 7, hitting a residential building in the eastern Ukraine Pokrovsk. Eight civilians were killed and at least 31 injured.