China is unlikely to attend a major international meeting in Malta this week that aims to resolve the Ukraine conflict, according to Bloomberg. The gathering, which will bring together representatives from over 50 nations, will focus on the Kiev-backed “peace formula” that Moscow rejects.
Sources familiar with the matter have revealed that the summit, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, will be attended by members of the G7 Group, Qatar, South Africa, India, and Türkiye, with several other countries like Brazil and Chile expected to participate online.
Andrey Yermak, the head of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s office, stated on Friday that the summit will address various aspects of Kiev’s “peace formula,” including food, energy, and nuclear security, humanitarian issues, and the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
Zelensky first introduced the ten-point plan last year, which also demands the withdrawal of Russian troops from territories claimed by Ukraine and calls for the establishment of a tribunal to prosecute Moscow for alleged war crimes. Russia has repeatedly dismissed the proposal as unacceptable, claiming that Ukraine is not serious about the talks.
The anticipated absence of China at the meeting is seen as a disappointment for Zelensky, who was hoping to garner support for his initiative. The summit in Malta is seen as an opportunity for Ukrainian officials to attract neutral countries and gather their support on the conflict.
This gathering in Malta is the latest in a series of similar meetings held in Denmark in June and Saudi Arabia in August. While Russia did not participate in either event, China attended the latter, with its Foreign Ministry stating that the meeting helped consolidate international consensus.
Moscow has consistently emphasized that it sees no value in Ukraine peace talks that exclude Russia. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented specifically on the Malta summit, referring to it as “pointless and counterproductive.” She accused those who designed the summit’s format of relying on tactics like blackmail and threats to entice as many neutral countries as possible.
China has refrained from joining Western sanctions against Russia since the start of the Ukraine conflict. The country has suggested that the crisis was partly caused by NATO’s expansion following the end of the Cold War.
In conclusion, the upcoming summit in Malta is significant for Ukraine as it seeks to court neutral countries to support its “peace formula.” The absence of China at the meeting may hinder Zelensky’s efforts, and Moscow has reiterated its stance that excluding Russia from peace talks is counterproductive. As the summit approaches, it remains to be seen how various countries will engage in resolving the Ukraine conflict.