On Saturday, the third phase of negotiations for peace in Ukraine began in Malta. Over 60 countries were represented, but Moscow did not attend and criticized it as an “overtly anti-Russian” gathering.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke at the initial day of confidential discussions between national security and policy advisors. These talks aim to garner support for his 10-point proposal to resolve the conflict.
On social media, he declared that the talks involved 66 countries, demonstrating that his plan has gained international recognition.
This summer, there were meetings in Jeddah and Copenhagen, with the Ukrainians aiming to eventually host a summit with heads of state.
On Saturday, an EU representative stated that the meeting reaffirmed the widespread interest and growing backing for the main components of Ukraine’s Peace Formula.
Amidst the conflict between Hamas and Israel, the official stated that the event displayed the significance of achieving fair peace not only in Ukraine, but also as a worldwide call for upholding international laws.
The Russian representative labels the occasion as ‘anti-Russian’.
The meeting in Malta has been referred to as a “clearly anti-Russian event” by Russian foreign ministry representative Maria Zakharova.
On Thursday, she stated that they were not involved in the effort to find a peaceful solution.
The attendees from Malta consisted of the United States, the European Union, and Britain, all of whom strongly support Kyiv in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion in February 2022.
Before the negotiations began, a list revealed that Turkey was present as a mediator between Ukraine and Russia.
South Africa, Brazil, and India, all part of the influential BRICS group, along with Russia, also followed suit.
South Africa and India have chosen not to denounce Russia’s invasion, while Brazil has declined to join Western countries in providing weapons to Ukraine or implementing punishments on Moscow.
According to an EU official, China did not attend the meeting in Jeddah in August, despite being present, as it maintains a neutral stance and does not criticize the invasion.
The organizers of the Malta summit were anticipating a joint statement, as the previous two meetings concluded without a final declaration.
Conversations focus on preserving boundaries and sovereignty.
On the messaging platform Telegram, Andriy Yermak, the leader of Ukraine’s presidential office, stated that the talks held on Saturday were energetic and centered on five main topics, with particular emphasis on Ukraine’s territorial unity.
Zelensky’s peace plan calls for Russia to withdraw all its troops from Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders, including from the territory of Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.
Last year, Russia claimed to have taken control of the four Ukrainian regions of Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia. They have refused to consider any resolution that would require them to relinquish land.
The discussions in Malta are also addressing nuclear safety, particularly the importance of safeguarding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, and strategies for safeguarding Ukraine’s energy infrastructure leading up to winter.
The topic of maintaining a stable food supply was also discussed, with Russia limiting the export of grain from Ukraine. Humanitarian concerns, such as the release of prisoners and the repatriation of Ukrainian children who were brought to Russia, were also addressed.