Russia: Upcoming Ukraine-West summit in Saudi Arabia is a 'sham'

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Russia: Upcoming Ukraine-West summit in Saudi Arabia is a 'sham'

Russia has said a planned meeting on Ukraine, to be held in Saudi Arabia this week, aims to forge an anti-Russian coalition. "The meeting initiated by the Kiev regime and its Western guardians to promote Volodymyr Zelenskyy's [peace] formula is a farce," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted by the TASS news agency on Wednesday. "It is yet another staged event to bring together concerned states under the guise of forming an anti-Russian coalition and demonstrating pseudo-unity in the world by opposing Russia's actions," she said. Zakharova noted that the meeting is a "lure" for those countries that sincerely seek a peaceful solution to the Ukraine conflict in order to prevent further escalation.

 "This is neither a conference of a scientific and practical nature, nor a meeting of diplomats to seek political solutions, but an attempt to exploit the righteous intentions of several states to forge an anti-Russian coalition," she said. She added that these countries were invited "with the aim of developing some sort of putative peace initiative to sort out the situation." The Wall Street Journal recently quoted sources as saying Saudi Arabia was planning to hold peace talks on Ukraine in Jeddah on August 5-6. It was reported that the European Union, Britain, Poland and South Africa have already confirmed their participation in the consultations and the presence of the US President's National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is expected.

 Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier said the meeting in Saudi Arabia will help the West realize that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy's so-called peace plan is a dead end. Ukrainian President Zelenskyi has actively promoted his 10-point peace plan, discussing it with US President Joe Biden, among others, and urging world leaders to hold a global peace summit based on it. Last year Zelenskyy presented a 10-point peace formula to world leaders at the Group 20 summit in Indonesia. The plan calls for Russia to give up the four regions, plus Crimea, which it conquered in 2014 and subsequently annexed. The Kremlin has rejected Ukrainian President Zelenskyy's peace plan, saying proposals to end the protracted war must take into account the "present-day realities" of the four Ukrainian regions that recently joined Russia.

The Kremlin has repeatedly stated that it is open to peace talks with Ukraine, but sees no willingness on the part of Kiev to negotiate. Regarding Moscow's terms at the peace talks, Russian diplomats say the demilitarization of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine is one of the most important conditions the Kremlin has cited for ending the war. The two regions seceded from Ukraine in 2014 after refusing to recognize the new pro-Western government. Western world support for Ukraine's military runs into billions of dollars, led by Washington. Russia states that the aim of the military operation is to demilitarize breakaway Ukrainian regions with ethnic Russian populations. Since the war began, the United States and Europe have imposed sanctions on Moscow and provided Ukraine with financial and military support.

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