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Summit in Saudi Arabia: peace formula for Ukraine on the agenda

Summit in Saudi Arabia: peace formula for Ukraine on the agenda discussing the peace formula at a meeting with representatives of Saudi Arabia in February 2023 (
Author: Maria Kholina

This weekend, a peace summit on Ukraine starts in Saudi Arabia. Advisers to the leaders of nearly 40 countries will gather for talks on 5-6 August. The participants include not only Western allies, but also representatives of states that have maintained a neutral position since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion.

The "economic center" of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jeddah, has become the venue for high-level negotiations as world leaders and advisors from approximately 40 countries gather for the summit. The attendees include Western officials and representatives from Global South countries such as India, Brazil, South Africa, among others. China has also confirmed its participation in the summit.

The main focus of the summit is to discuss the implementation of the peace formula proposed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. This is the second meeting of this format, following the first one held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in June 2023. It is expected that this summit will pave the way for a Global Leaders' Summit.

The Ukrainian delegation, led by Head of the Presidential Office Andriy Yermak, will engage in multilateral and bilateral talks with representatives from leading countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Summit participants will include close partners of Ukraine from the G7 and Europe, as well as countries that maintain neutrality in the conflict and continue cooperation with Russia. Among these participants are Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, South Africa, Zambia, India, and Chile.

China has joined the negotiations as well, with its delegation led by special representative Li Hui. Beijing expressed its readiness to cooperate with the international community to play a its constructive part in seeking a political resolution to the crisis in Ukraine. There are indications that China may be open to considering the Ukrainian peace formula. However, China's neutrality might be affected by its recent exit from a grain agreement with Russia, given its substantial imports of Ukrainian grain and the negative impact of the war on China's economy and global goals in Europe.

Переговори щодо української формули миру. Чого чекати від саміту в Саудівській Аравії

Photo: Li Hui, China's special envoy for the settlement of the war in Ukraine, will attend the summit in Jeddah (Russian media)

President Zelenskyy stressed the importance of representing various continents at the summit, including countries from the Global South. He emphasized that issues like food security and the well-being of millions of people in Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world depend on how quickly the peace formula is implemented.

Summit without Russia and its narratives

The representative of the Office of the President said that while it welcomes representatives from all countries respecting Ukraine's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, the forum is for responsible states that respect international law and the UN Charter. As such, Russia was not invited.

In response to Mexico's call to invite "both sides of the conflict", the Presidential Office said it was happy to see representatives of all countries that respect Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, "but this is a forum of responsible states that respect international law and the UN Charter. That is why Russia will not be present there," said Andriy Yermak, head of the OP.

However, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin would closely monitor the meeting, although it does not yet understand "what goals are being set and what will be discussed."

The main focus of the negotiations will be on the peace formula for Ukraine, with participants concentrating on finding optimal phrasing and mechanisms for implementing the peace plan, which will then be presented at the Global Leaders' Summit.

President Zelenskyy said that Ukraine is progressing step by step towards the Global Summit, and a fair and honest resolution of the Russian aggression will benefit the entire world. He emphasized that the liberation of Ukrainian territory from the occupiers is a restoration of full respect for international law and the UN Charter, while the elimination of all threats posed by Russia ensures peace in international relations and global stability.

Andriy Yermak added that the meeting in Saudi Arabia aims to produce a unified vision for the Formula and explore possibilities for the Global Peace Summit. The strategy for implementing the peace plan consists of three stages: a meeting at the ambassadorial level for detailed discussions on each aspect of the Formula, a summit at the level of national security advisors to achieve a unified position on the mechanism for implementing the initiative, and finally, the founding summit at the level of state leaders, where the Formula will be put into action. Ukraine is already working on organizing this founding summit, scheduled for this autumn.

As The Wall Street Journal previously reported, the Jeddah summit could further consolidate international support for Ukraine, as many of its participants have remained neutral so far.

Переговори щодо української формули миру. Чого чекати від саміту в Саудівській Аравії

Photo: meeting in Copenhagen on Ukraine's peace plan (

The Wall Street Journal sources expressed the belief that the new meeting could possibly help reconcile the differences between Ukraine and developing countries regarding the conditions for ending the war.

At the previous summit in Copenhagen, there was a divergence of views among the negotiating parties. Some participants indicated they were open to discussing the general principles of Ukraine's plan but were hesitant to fully endorse the peace formula.

Expectations from the summit

Deputy Head of the Presidential Office, Ihor Zhovkva, revealed that the Ukrainian side expects, at the very least, to:

  • Agree on the philosophy behind the 10 points of the peace formula.
  • Prepare a plan for the upcoming Global Leaders' Summit (time, location, and agenda).

The United States has expressed the view that the summit in Saudi Arabia will be the beginning of the process of implementing the peace initiative and a chance for states to hear the Ukrainian side directly. However, no major decisions on the peace plan are expected during the talks.

A representative from the U.S. State Department, Matthew Miller, said that for a genuine peace process to begin, Russia must demonstrate its readiness to engage in negotiations. Yet, the Kremlin has not yet done so.

Furthermore, one of the aims of the summit might be to involve China in the peaceful resolution of the situation in Ukraine. Western diplomats noted that Saudi Arabia was chosen as the venue, in part, due to its relations with China.

The Ukrainian peace formula

During his speech at the G20 summit in November 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy first proposed the peace formula to stop the destructive Russian war. The formula includes 10 points:

1. Radiological and nuclear safety (Russia's withdrawal from the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone and renunciation of nuclear threats).
2. Food security (expanding the grain initiative).
3. Energy security (protecting Ukraine's energy infrastructure and limiting energy resource prices from Russia).
4. Release of all prisoners of war and deportees (release of all individuals on all sides).
5. Adherence to the UN Charter, restoration of territorial integrity, and global order.
6. Withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities (restoring Ukraine's control over all sections of the state border with Russia).
7. Justice (establishing a special tribunal for Russia's aggression against Ukraine).
8. Ecocide and the urgent need to protect nature.
9. Preventing escalation (signing a security guarantee treaty with Kyiv's allies, the Kyiv Security Compact).
10. Fixation of the war's end.

The formula has already garnered support from countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Finland, and the Baltic countries.