The upcoming summit in Malta is seen as a platform for Ukrainian officials to court neutral countries, according to the agency
China is likely to skip a major international meeting of security officials in Malta this week devoted to resolving the Ukraine conflict, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. The gathering, which is expected to be attended by representatives of more than 50 nations, will revolve around the Kiev-backed “peace formula” that is rejected by Moscow.
According to people familiar with the matter interviewed by the agency, participants in the summit, which will be held on Saturday and Sunday, will include, among others, members of the G7 Group, Qatar, South Africa, India, and Türkiye, while several other countries, such as Brazil and Chile, are expected to join online.
Andrey Yermak, the head of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s office, said on Friday that it would address several points of Kiev’s “peace formula,” including food, energy and nuclear security, humanitarian issues, as well as “the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.”
The ten-point plan, which was first floated by Zelensky last year, also demands that Russia withdraw its troops from territory that Ukraine claims as its own, and calls for the establishment of a tribunal to prosecute Moscow for alleged war crimes. Russia has repeatedly dismissed the proposal as unacceptable, calling it a sign that Ukraine was not serious about the talks.
Bloomberg notes that Beijing’s possible no-show at the meeting would be a “disappointment” for Zelensky, who had hoped to drum up support for his initiative at a summit that is seen as a platform for Ukrainian officials to make a pitch to countries that have remained largely neutral on the conflict.
The Malta summit is set to follow similar gatherings in Denmark in June, and in Saudi Arabia in August. While Russia was not present at either, China attended the latter with Beijing’s Foreign Ministry saying at the time that it helped “to consolidate international consensus.”
Moscow has said that it sees no value in Ukraine peace talks that exclude Russia. Commenting specifically on the Malta summit on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called it “pointless and counterproductive,” adding that those who designed the summit’s format rely on “blackmail and threats” to lure in as many neutral countries as possible.
Since the onset of the Ukraine conflict, China has refused to join Western sanctions against Moscow, suggesting that the crisis was partly caused by NATO’s expansion after the end of the Cold War.
October 27, 2023 at 05:44PM