Jeddah summit on Ukraine and the important role of the BRICS nations

Image from Getty

Contributed by Jim Hayes

After a two-day summit in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah, the representatives of 42 countries agreed to support a third round of talks to find a framework that will lead to peace in Ukraine. No definite result came about. The Western block, led by the United States and Great Britain, continues to press for a Russian surrender. This is the stumbling block.

This is what lies behind the failure of the June summit in Copenhagen.

A new factor this time was the involvement of China and three other members of the BRICS block. These others are India, Brazil, and South Africa. They are pushing in a different direction. BRICS is heading for a major increase in its member nations at its coming August meeting in South Africa.

Talking at the Jeddah summit

In the face of this process of global realignment and failure on the battlefield, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is being pushed to the negotiating table.

At the first summit in Copenhagen in June, Zelensky signed an agreement, which was promptly torn up by his backers. Despite not having his own plan accepted, he remained upbeat about the result, suggesting that he hoped this would lead to a peace summit of world leaders.

The United States, which did send its representatives to Jaddah, has not released a response, suggesting there has not yet been a shift in goal of a Russia surrender. This is not going to happen.  

A major stumbling block is that on the insistence of Zelensky and his backers, Russia was not invited to the summit. Without Russia’s involvement there can be no agreement and an end to the fighting. Russia must be involved. On top of this, Russia has long been calling for a ceasefire. But one that addresses its key concerns, the NATO threat on its borders, and the mistreatment of the Russian speaking population in Ukraine.   

Kyiv’s backers and masters, know they can’t win on the battlefield and are trying to regain a diplomatic initiative, to get the world behind a peace plan that will deliver them terms that come closest to meeting their aims, Russian withdrawal and offering nothing in return.

Achieving this objective isn’t going to be possible. The world hasn’t been convinced, and for Kyiv continues to do badly on the battlefield. The promised offensive failed, the casualties have been enormous, there is a shortage of weapons and munitions, and the world is getting war weary.

A major expansion in the number of BRICS nations will have an impact and put an end to western dominance of global affairs. The August meeting in South Africa will be important, and Russia will be presenting its case there.

China once again presented its 12-point plan for peace in Ukraine. It was first unveiled by President Xi Jinping on 24 February. This was then opposed by Kyiv’s backers. The plan comes under the following headings.

  1. Respecting the sovereignty of all countries.
  2. Abandoning the Cold War mentality. 
  3. Ceasing hostilities.
  4. Resuming peace talks.
  5. Resolving the humanitarian crisis. 
  6. Protecting civilians and prisoners of war (POWs).
  7. Keeping nuclear power plants safe.
  8. Reducing strategic risks
  9. Facilitating grain exports. 
  10. Stopping unilateral sanctions. 
  11. Keeping industrial and supply chains stable.
  12. Promoting post-conflict reconstruction.

Kyiv’s backers opposed this again. But cut it any way, China’s peace plan is the best option for securing peace, because it provides a starting point for genuine negotiations, and paves the way for the necessity to reach agreement on the need for Kyiv to accept the independence withes of the majority Russian speaking regions and not participate in the expansion of NATO. Russia will have to withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

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