Ukraine Launches Extensive Diplomatic Campaign to Counter Russia’s Influence

In a proactive move to seek international solidarity and diminish Russia’s dominance, Ukraine is commencing a comprehensive diplomatic initiative. This weekend, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia have jointly invited diplomats from approximately 40 countries to engage in discussions in Jeddah. The main objective is to involve nations that have maintained a neutral stance in the ongoing war that started in February 2022.

Noteworthy participants include China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and various oil-rich Gulf countries, which have aimed to maintain harmonic relations with both Ukraine and Russia throughout the conflict.

Setting the Stage for Strategic Action

The gathering in Jeddah serves as a strategic starting point for a major diplomatic offensive planned by Ukraine in the months ahead. President Volodymyr Zelensky recently brought back his ambassadors for an emergency strategy session to develop effective approaches to convey Ukraine’s message to the global community. He stressed the significance of utilizing all available tools, both official and unofficial, to convince resolute allies and neutral nations that a lasting peace can only be accomplished through Russia’s complete defeat.

Building Opportunities for Advocacy

In addition to the meeting in Saudi Arabia, Ukraine aims to present its case at the annual United Nations General Assembly session in September, providing another platform to garner support. Additionally, the country plans to host a summit in the coming months to reinforce backing for its 10-point peace formula, with the goal of making it the foundation for any future settlement.

Realistic Expectations Management

While Ukrainian and Western officials are cautiously optimistic, they are careful not to establish unrealistic expectations for the Jeddah talks. The participants’ involvement does not necessarily mean a shift in their respective positions on the conflict. However, the inclusion of neutral nations like Indonesia, India, Mexico, and South Africa is seen as encouraging, given their desire to witness an end to the war and its economic consequences.

The Mediating Role of Saudi Arabia

Choosing Saudi Arabia as the host for the talks holds significance, considering Ukraine’s diplomatic efforts to cultivate a relationship with the resource-rich nation. Saudi Arabia has skillfully balanced its involvement in the war, offering financial aid to Ukraine while maintaining close ties with Russia. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman invited President Zelensky to speak at a gathering of Arab states in May, urging Middle Eastern leaders to stand in solidarity with Ukraine against Russia.

China’s Participation and Its Importance

China’s decision to attend the Jeddah meeting holds significance, particularly after declining a similar gathering in Copenhagen earlier. Although China claims to maintain neutrality, it has provided crucial support to Russia, mitigating the impact of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation. Analysts suggest that China’s participation may be an effort to present itself as a responsible and impartial actor on the global stage.

Ukraine’s Dual Diplomatic Challenge

Ukraine confronts a dual diplomatic challenge in its extensive campaign. It must uphold unwavering support from its Western allies while engaging in a demanding and costly counteroffensive against Russia. Simultaneously, it aims to broaden its support base by persuading noncommittal countries to rally behind its cause. To accomplish this, Ukraine and its Western supporters aim to exploit any existing divisions, whether economic, cultural, or political, in Russia’s relationships with other nations.

The Power of Diplomacy

President Zelensky underlined the significance of diplomacy in achieving a lasting resolution to the conflict. The support of other nations is crucial in strengthening Ukraine’s position and securing a peaceful settlement. By emphasizing the humanitarian aspect and the potential consequences of Russia retaining control over substantial portions of Ukraine, the country hopes to gain global support to bring an end to the war that has caused immense destruction and loss of life. The diplomatic efforts initiated in Jeddah represent a pivotal moment in Ukraine’s pursuit of a fair and enduring peace.

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