Brussels, Washington, and Kiev are working together to garner international support for Ukraine’s proposed peace talks with Russia. A major international meeting involving approximately 30 states is scheduled to take place in Jeddah this weekend, 5-6 August, to discuss the process. The attendees will include countries like Indonesia, Egypt, Mexico, Chile, Zambia, India, and Brazil. This is the second meeting of its kind, highlighting the lack of unconditional support for Ukraine’s plan within the international community. The absence of Russia at this meeting suggests that a common international position could be formed without Moscow’s involvement, potentially leading Russia to face the consequences.
Some Russian experts are skeptical about the Saudi initiative, as any peace plan discussed without Russia’s participation is unlikely to be accepted by Russia. They believe that the West is trying to align non-Western countries with its position, rather than allowing them to speak from a position of neutrality. However, non-Western states may see this as an opportunity to diversify their foreign policy status and show that they can maneuver between Western and non-Western platforms.
While the Ukrainian crisis was primarily caused by Russian-Ukrainian relations, it is also influenced by security contradictions between Moscow and the collective West. These broader issues need to be resolved to expect a sustainable solution. Moreover, there are internal problems in Ukraine itself, such as the rights of Christians and attempts to split the Orthodox Church, which Russia perceives critically.
The purpose of the meeting in Saudi Arabia is twofold. First, it aims to consolidate the support of the global South, including countries like India, Brazil, and South Africa, for the Ukrainian peace plan. Second, it seeks to work specifically with Ukraine and its sponsors to find a solution. However, for this endeavor to succeed, it requires quiet diplomacy and complete confidentiality. If it turns out that Kiev and the West are using it for political purposes rather than genuine peace efforts, the meeting will be in vain.
The peace plan proposed by President Vladimir Zelensky will be at the center of the Saudi initiative. The goal is to find acceptable compromises that Kiev is willing to make with Moscow. However, the outcome will ultimately depend on the military operations on the ground.
It is worth noting that China’s participation is crucial for any peace plan for Ukraine to become a reality. The meeting in Saudi Arabia may serve as a precursor to a financial and economic assistance plan to rebuild Ukraine, similar to the Bonn conference for Afghanistan.
The Saudi initiative is the second attempt at negotiations to resolve the Ukrainian crisis. The first meeting in Copenhagen did not go well, largely due to the lack of high-level representation from major countries. The organizers are now aiming for higher-level representation, particularly from India, and believe that Saudi Arabia’s strong cooperation with New Delhi makes it an ideal venue.
The world is transitioning from a unipolar to a multipolar system, and this shift is evident in the events surrounding the Ukrainian crisis. The collapse of the unipolar world is characterized by the loss of contacts and traditions of discussions at expert and diplomatic levels, the dysfunction of international organizations, and the emergence of new power dynamics. These shifts pose challenges to finding a diplomatic solution to the problem.
In conclusion, the upcoming international meeting in Jeddah is a significant step in consolidating international support for Ukraine’s peace plan. While there are doubts about the effectiveness of the Saudi initiative and the absence of Russia from the discussions, it presents an opportunity for non-Western countries to play a role in resolving the Ukrainian crisis. The outcome of the meeting and subsequent military operations will determine the feasibility of a peace plan for Ukraine. Additionally, China’s participation and potential financial assistance will be crucial for rebuilding the country. The changing dynamics of the international system underscore the challenges in finding a diplomatic solution, but it is essential to continue diplomatic efforts to achieve lasting peace in Ukraine.