Any ‘real’ talks on Ukraine should include Russia – Brazil

The conflict in Ukraine is a chapter in the longstanding rivalry between Russia and the West, according to Brazilian envoy

The head of the Brazilian delegation expressed his doubts at achieving any progress towards peace in Ukraine if Russia is not involved in the negotiations. He made the remarks remotely during the first day of Saudi-hosted summit currently taking place in Jeddah, where Moscow was not invited.

“Any real negotiation must include all parties,” Brazil’s chief presidential adviser, Celso Amorim, told the Saudi-hosted gathering via videolink on Saturday.

“Although Ukraine is the biggest victim, if we really want peace, we have to involve Moscow in this process somehow,” he added, according to a copy of his statement, reported by G1 news.

Some 40 countries have been invited to participate in the talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia this weekend, but it remains unclear how many nations will send delegations or at least join the talks remotely. 

Many of the nations invited to the summit have so far resisted US pressure to take sides in the crisis, seeing the conflict as a contest between superpowers in which they want no part. Previously the talks were rejected by the Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who called the meeting “pointless” unless Russia was present.

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“This is not only a conflict between Russia and Ukraine,” the head of the Brazilian delegation added on Saturday, according to the New York Times. “This is also a chapter in the longstanding rivalry between Russia and the West.”

Moscow remains skeptical about the “peace plan” presented at the Jeddah event, saying that it is a mere attempt by the West to try and persuade neutral countries to back the so-called “ten-point peace formula” proposed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. According to the Foreign Ministry previously, 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.”

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that the plan calls for Russia to “totally capitulate” and turn a blind eye to Kiev’s persecution of ethnic Russians. 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.”

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