This week, a number of Western media reported that in early August, Saudi Arabia was going to host a peace summit that would deal with the settlement of the war in Ukraine with the countries of the ‘Global South’ having been invited to it.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the summit will take place on August 5–6 in Jeddah. It was initiated by Western countries and Ukraine and those invited include Brazil, South Africa, India, Egypt and a number of other African and Asian states. In addition to the United States and Ukraine, the organizers will be represented by Poland, Britain and the European Union as a separate entity.
According to WSJ, the summit will be held as part of the West’s efforts to get Global South countries involved in supporting Ukraine.
The publication further states that “Washington and Europe are hoping the talks, which exclude Russia, can lead to international backing for peace terms favoring Ukraine.”
As a follow-up to these efforts, at the end of the year, Western countries are planning a summit at the highest level during which a sort of declaration will be signed between the countries of the “Global South” on supporting peace based on Ukraine’s terms. The West plans to use it as an argument in hypothetical peace negotiations with Russia.
The intention to hold the summit in Jeddah was confirmed by Andriy Yermak, head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine. He noted that during that event “it is the Ukrainian peace plan that should be taken as a basis” and also stated that Ukraine would a three-phase structure to implement the “Zelensky’s peace formula”.
“The first phase consists in holding meetings with ambassadors accredited in Ukraine to consider each of the points of the Peace Formula in detail. During the second phase, Ukraine would initiate meetings of national security advisers to elaborate on optimal wordings and mechanisms for the implementation of the Ukrainian peace plan. The third phase of approving a peace formula would be a constituent Global Summit at the highest level that could take place before the end of the year.”
The initiative to hold a peace summit in Saudi Arabia has already been commended by some countries. In particular, this event was supported by the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Did it occur to someone in Ukraine that the Iranians had decided to help the US defeat Russia?
Several conclusions follow from the above.
The first and obvious one: The USA and its allies are seeking to enlist the support of the countries of the “Global South” in the fight against Russia and defeating it in Ukraine. The ideal scenario for the West would be for Asian, African, Middle Eastern and Latin American countries to join their sanctions against Russia, setting up a complete trade blockade against the Russian Federation and express unequivocal support for the “Zelensky’s peace formula” that consists in demanding unconditional and immediate surrender of Russia followed by war reparations.
The second, no less obvious, conclusion is that the USA, the EU and Ukraine are unlikely to achieve this goal. Over the past year and a half (and even earlier, before it all started), we have witnessed not the distancing of the countries of the “Global South” from Russia, but, as a matter of fact, establishing closer relations with it. India has become the largest buyer and refiner of Russian oil; China, according to Western media, supplies electronics and other military equipment to Russia; Iran supplies attack drones and drone production technologies to the Russian Federation; the BRICS countries are going to create a joint currency for international settlements (including the Russian Federation), which will strike a violent blow at the dominance of the US dollar; in the meantime, Saudi Arabia – supposed to be the host of the peace summit – is negotiating with Russia oil cartel production conditions that will enable keeping oil prices high.
No doubt that all of the above is being done by the countries of the “Global South” not out of ‘great love’ for Russia but solely for the sake of their own economic and political benefits. That is why it will be virtually impossible to win them over to join the West in unambiguously supporting Ukraine. The only exception may be some small African and Latin American states that can be simply threatened by the United States to be barred from getting another IMF loan. And it is not perfect for all use cases, because nowadays a loan may be raised from China.
Actually, that is why the recent meeting of a similar format held in Copenhagen ended in a fiasco. According to The Wall Street Journal, it revealed “serious controversies between the stances of Ukraine and Global South countries on peaceful settlement.” Kiev demands unequivocal and unconditional support for the “Zelensky’s peace formula” while all the numerous peace plans tabled by China, Brazil, South Africa and other countries imply one or another option for freezing the conflict along the current demarcation line.
And finally, the main reason why the Saudi peace summit is almost certainly doomed to failure is the objective interest of “Global South” countries in establishing a multipolar world order. The conflict between Ukraine and Russia is, in turn, also the West’s struggle for retaining unipolarity. When the West asks China, South Africa or Brazil to support Ukraine and help defeat Russia, they are essentially saying: “Help us wallop Russia today so that we can maintain our global domination and tomorrow we will wallop each of you separately in the same way.” The “Global South” is well aware of this. Therefore, the chances that the Saudi peace summit may succeed are tenuous.