Ukraine-Russia War: Live Updates – The New York Times

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Top officials from over 40 countries, including China and India, gathered in Saudi Arabia over the weekend to discuss potential ways to end the war in Ukraine. These talks were a crucial part of Ukraine’s efforts to garner support from various nations that have previously remained on the sidelines, further isolating Russia. Although Russia did not participate in the discussions, the absence of a formal declaration or statement indicated some progress.

Notably, China, which had not attended previous talks in June, actively participated this time and expressed its willingness to join a potential third round of talks, which could serve as a precursor to a meeting of heads of state. This development was seen as a positive sign by an official from the European Union.

Despite diplomatic efforts, the war in Ukraine, which began with Russia’s invasion over a year ago, has seen limited concrete results. The United Nations and Turkey brokered a notable agreement that allowed Ukraine to transport grain across the Black Sea. However, that fragile deal now lies in tatters, indicating President Vladimir V. Putin’s determination to prolong the conflict.

One key reason behind the failure of peace talks is the focus of both Ukraine and Russia on gaining territorial advantages on the battlefield. As the war drags on, the fighting has spread to previously unaffected areas, with Ukraine openly claiming credit for attacks deep within Russian lines. Attack drones are becoming increasingly prevalent in Moscow.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has proposed a 10-point plan that includes holding Russia accountable for war atrocities, the surrender of captured Ukrainian territory, and demanding hundreds of billions in reparations for war damage. The Kremlin flatly rejects these demands. Nevertheless, the recent gathering in Jeddah aimed to address some elements of Zelensky’s plan. Participants agreed to establish working groups to tackle issues such as global food security, nuclear safety, environmental security, humanitarian aid, the release of prisoners of war, and the reunification of separated families.

During the two-day event, Ukraine’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, engaged in bilateral meetings with representatives from more than 30 countries. While he did not disclose whether he met with Chinese or Indian representatives, he mentioned discussions with the United States, Britain, Germany, Turkey, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa.

In conclusion, the talks in Saudi Arabia provided Ukraine with an opportunity to gain support from countries with ties to Russia, such as China and India. Although the negotiations did not result in a formal declaration, the participation of China and the establishment of working groups signify some progress. With the war in Ukraine showing no signs of resolution, diplomatic efforts remain crucial in mitigating the conflict’s impacts and pursuing potential peace solutions.

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