Turkey Views Ukraine Peace Talks As Futile Without Russia, May Host Next Round

 Following last weekend's Ukraine peace talks hosted in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Turkey now says it might play host to the next round. The Saudi talks didn't produce much of anything, also given Russia wasn't even represented, and it was pushed reportedly to get BRICS countries off the fence and more firmly in support of Kiev.

Turkish daily Hurriyet indicated in a fresh report, "it should not be surprising if Turkey becomes the host of the third round." The report hailed Turkey as a host nation that "can openly and clearly speak to all sides" of the conflict.

More importantly, Turkish officials who were present in Jeddah are reported to have said "results cannot be achieved without involving Russia in the process."

Thus it appears that if Turkey-hosted talks do materialize, Russia is likely to be represented - also as attempts to restore the Black Sea Grain Initiative have been ongoing - though appear more distant than ever as the Black Sea aspect to the conflict heats up with tit-for-tat bombings of ports and warships, and recently even a Russian fuel tanker.

China too has let it be known that Moscow needs to be directly involved in any serious Ukraine peace talks. China's involvement in the talks is being widely viewed as a positive. Beijing characterized its participation in the Saudi summit as follows

China’s attendance shows it supports "substantive efforts" to end the war "through negotiation and diplomacy," said Victor Gao, a prominent Chinese political analyst with strong links to the ruling Communist Party. "China will listen carefully to any idea or proposal" that is "helpful to the peaceful settlement of the war."

Kremlin officials have meanwhile blistered over "peace talks" being held without them, saying that it's tantamount to rivals and enemies 'gossiping without us'.

As Business Insider summarizes of Kremlin furry

In comments to The Moscow Times, four former and current Kremlin officials familiar with Russia's diplomacy were troubled. Ukraine had managed to gather traditional Russian allies at the summit, not just its usual backers in the West, they noted. One official said Ukraine was seeking to cut out Russia and get countries to rally behind its version of how to end the war.

"Kyiv's goal is to make these countries if not allies, then partners. And then if a general consensus is reached, Ukraine will try to deepen it and raise more sensitive issues to build such a consensus," the diplomat told the publication.

A former high-ranking Russian diplomat also expressed concern to The Moscow Times about Russia's isolation, but added that Moscow's participation in discussions was necessary for ending the conflict. "The fact that we're not there is naturally unpleasant for us. As is the fact that they're gossiping without us," the former official said. He did, however, say that "you cannot solve" the war without Russian input.

The influential nations of China, India, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia have by and large resisted Washington pressure to sign onto the West's anti-Putin measures and to stop cooperation altogether. At the same time, Moscow has charged the US and UK in particular of actively thwarting peace behind the scenes. 

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