MOSCOW, September 1. /TASS/. Saudi Arabia has informed Russia that the meeting in Jeddah on Ukraine was planned to convey the futility of talks without Moscow's participation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
"Our Saudi friends told us afterwards that they want to hold another meeting in this format in Jeddah. They said that this is solely to convey to the Western participants and Ukraine itself the idea of the complete futility of any discussions without Russia’s participation, which they did at the event that took place in Jeddah," the top diplomat said at a meeting with students and faculty of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University).
In addition, Lavrov mentioned the August 17 online meeting of the working groups dedicated to the "Zelensky’s formula," drawing attention to the fact that the Russian side only afterwards learned about the appeal to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to "send his representatives to these virtual meetings <...> and such representatives participated." "I saw Mr. Guterres in Johannesburg on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, I told him frankly that this violates all the principles of the Secretariat, because the UN Secretariat, according to the Charter, should be impartial and not receive instructions from any government. And in this case, we know which government turned to the Secretary General and at whose request he sent his people," the Russian foreign minister said.
Consultations on the peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian conflict were held on August 5-6 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The event was attended by representatives of more than 40 countries and international organizations, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, Turkey, Ukraine, Qatar and the United Nations.
Commenting on the meeting in Saudi Arabia, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that by promoting Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky's "formula," Kiev and the West are trying to belittle other countries' initiatives and monopolize the right to nominate them.