Malta welcomes third round of Ukraine-backed peace talks amid Russian absence


Malta played host to a significant international gathering as the third round of peace talks, supported by Ukraine, commenced, drawing representatives from over 50 nations. Notably, Moscow declined to participate, branding the event as “a blatantly anti-Russian affair.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is optimistic that this two-day, closed-door summit will rally support for his comprehensive 10-point plan aimed at terminating the conflict ignited by Russia’s invasion in February 2022. This meeting follows similar summits held in Jeddah and Copenhagen during the summer months.

Compared to the Saudi summit in August, the Malta talks boast an even larger attendance, with more than 50 countries and international institutions participating. Kyiv interprets this expanding list of attendees as a global demonstration of support for the peace process.

“This meeting is a powerful signal that unity is preserved around Ukraine,” remarked Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, earlier this week.

In stark contrast, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dismissed the Malta talks as a “blatantly anti-Russian event,” contending that they “had nothing to do with the search for a peaceful resolution.”

President Zelensky’s peace plan calls for Russia to withdraw all its troops from Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders, including the annexed territory of Crimea in 2014. Russia, which claimed to annex four Ukrainian regions in September 2022, has staunchly rejected any settlement involving territorial concessions.

The organizers of the Malta summit are hopeful for a joint statement, a feature absent in previous meetings. Notable participants include the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom, all staunch supporters of Kyiv. Turkey, positioning itself as a mediator between Ukraine and Russia, is also in attendance.

Furthermore, South Africa, Brazil, and India, all members of the influential BRICS bloc that includes Russia, are participating. South Africa and India have refrained from condemning the invasion, while Brazil has resisted aligning with Western nations in supplying arms to Ukraine or imposing sanctions on Moscow.

China, asserting its neutrality and refraining from criticizing the invasion, was present in Jeddah and is anticipated to take part in the Malta summit, according to diplomats.

The discussions in Malta will center on five critical areas: food security, energy security, nuclear security, humanitarian concerns, and the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, as emphasized by Andriy Yermak.

Both Russia and Ukraine are gearing up for a challenging winter ahead, with Ukraine cautioning about potential strikes on its energy infrastructure and Russia pushing back against Kyiv’s counteroffensive.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.