Ukraine’s Zelenskiy drops into Saudi in low profile visit

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy drops into Saudi in low profile visit
Ukraine’s Zelenskiy drops into Saudi in low profile visit / CC: President of Ukraine
By bne correspondent February 27, 2024

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy arrived in Saudi Arabia on February 27 for discussions with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, focusing on Ukraine's peace initiative and the repatriation of prisoners of war (POWs) and deportees.

The visit, part of Zelenskiy's efforts to garner international support for Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia, was announced on his Telegram channel.

During his visit, Zelenskiy aims to advance discussions on the Peace Formula, a Ukrainian proposition designed to end the ongoing conflict with Russia.

"Last year in Jeddah, we held an effective advisors' meeting on its implementation. We are now nearing the first Peace Summit and rely on Saudi Arabia's active support," Zelenskiy stated.

Another critical agenda item is addressing the return of Ukrainian POWs and deportees.

Zelenskiy expressed optimism about Saudi Arabia's continued assistance in these efforts, noting the kingdom's prior involvement in facilitating prisoner exchanges between Ukraine and Russia.

"The Kingdom's leadership has already contributed to the release of our people, and I am confident that this meeting will also yield results," he added.

The Ukrainian leader also highlighted potential areas for economic cooperation and Saudi Arabia's role in the reconstruction of Ukraine, indicating a broad discussion agenda beyond immediate conflict resolution efforts.

No additional details were provided about the visit, which marks a significant diplomatic engagement for Ukraine as it seeks to strengthen its ties with nations outside the traditional Western sphere of influence.