The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed hope the international community will see through what it called a ploy by Kiev
The true purpose of upcoming Saudi-hosted peace talks on Ukraine, initiated by the West and Kiev, is to build an anti-Russian coalition, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said on Wednesday. The talks, reported last week by the Wall Street Journal and scheduled for Jeddah on August 5 and 6, are to involve some 30 nations, including the US and countries from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The meeting was later confirmed by Ukrainian officials though Russia is widely reported not to have been invited to the negotiations.
In commentary to Russian business daily Kommersant, the ministry took a swipe at what it described as a ploy by “the Kiev regime and its Western sponsors” to promote Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s formula for ending the conflict.
The plan, which was floated last autumn, calls for Russia to withdraw all its troops from the territory Kiev claims as its own and submit to prosecution for alleged war crimes. Moscow has rejected the proposed terms unacceptable, claiming they are a sign that Ukraine is not serious about talks.
The Foreign Ministry added that the negotiations in the proposed format amounted to “an attempt to exploit the sincere intentions of [participating] countries to cobble together an anti-Russian coalition.”
“We assume that our partners are realistic about such events and are well aware of the toxic intentions of Kiev and the Westerners, who are trying to dupe them into taking their side and pulling away from Russia,” the ministry said.
It also reiterated that Moscow’s partners share its position that talks on peace in Ukraine are impossible without Russia. “We are certain that they will adhere to such an approach if they take part in the consultations in Saudi Arabia,” the ministry told Kommersant.
On Monday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that his country would not take part in the talks in Saudi Arabia, explaining that they would make sense only if both Kiev and Moscow were present.
However, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Russia would keep an eye on the meeting, reiterating that Moscow has always welcomed attempts to settle the conflict peacefully. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the talks “will not be useless” if they “help the West understand that Zelensky’s plan has no prospects.”