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Kyiv says Jeddah participants back Ukraine territorial integrity in any peace deal

Kyiv says Jeddah participants back Ukraine territorial integrity in any peace deal

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KYIV ­— Representatives of some 40 countries that took part in Saudi-hosted Ukraine peace talks this weekend agreed that any kind of peace treaty aimed to end Russia’s war against Ukraine must be based on respect for the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the U.N. Charter, the Ukrainian government said on Sunday.

Russia did not take part in the talks. But China, a longtime ally of Russia, attended the gathering in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

“China did not object, as it has never objected that Ukraine’s territorial integrity should be respected,” Igor Zhovkva, deputy head of the president’s office of Ukraine, told POLITICO.

Andriy Yermak, head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office, said earlier that Ukraine had very productive consultations on the key principles on which a just and lasting peace should be built.

“We had an extremely honest, open conversation, during which representatives of each country could voice their position and vision,” Yermak said in a statement. “There were different views, but all the participants demonstrated their countries’ commitment to the principles of the U.N. Charter, international law, and respect for the sovereignty and inviolability of the territorial integrity of states.” 

According to Yermak, the meeting in Jeddah was a step toward the practical implementation of Ukraine’s 10-step-peace formula. “Each state participating in the consultations has the opportunity to show leadership in global efforts for peace. And most of them have already defined their role in the implementation of certain points of the formula,” Yermak said. “The parties agreed to continue working at various representative levels to establish a just and comprehensive peace.”

In total, 42 countries and the representatives of the U.N. took part in the Jeddah peace talks, either online or in person.

“The very fact of the start of these negotiations is already an important historical event,” said Oleksandr Merezhko, Ukrainian MP and head of foreign relations committee in the Ukrainian parliament. “Because this is evidence that not only the countries of the West, but also the countries of the Global South seek peace, which would be based not on the concessions of the aggressor, but on the U.N. Charter and international law.”

Yermak had a series of bilateral meetings with EU countries and Turkey, in which he discussed all possible ways to export Ukrainian grain.

Yermak “expressed hope that Ukraine’s neighboring countries will refrain from introducing unilateral restrictive measures on the export of Ukrainian agricultural products after September 15,” according to the statement.

Among other things, Ukraine discussed the possible involvement of Qatar in peace talks and prisoner exchange with Russia.

The Kremlin was excluded from talks as it had rejected Ukraine’s peace formula from the beginning. However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitrii Peskov claimed that the Kremlin would be closely watching the talks.

Even though Russia has repeatedly claimed it is open for talks, it refuses to leave the occupied territories of Ukraine.

New York Times journalist recently asked Peskov whether Russia wants to occupy new Ukrainian territories. “No. We just want to control all the land we have now written into our constitution as ours,” Peskov said, meaning Crimea, and territories of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions that Russia illegally annexed last year.

Peskov also stated there are currently “no grounds” for a peace agreement with Ukraine.

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