Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday that his country would attend talks on Ukraine that are set to be held in Saudi Arabia this weekend only if Russia is invited.
“If there’s acceptance from both Ukraine and Russia to look for solutions to achieve peace, we’ll participate,” Lopez Obrador said, according to Reuters. “We don’t want the Russia-Ukraine war to continue, it’s very irrational … The only thing that benefits from it is the war industry.”
While being billed as peace talks, Russia has not been invited to the summit in Saudi Arabia. Nations that are not aligned with the US and NATO on the war have been invited, including India, Brazil, and China, but it’s not clear at this point which countries will attend.
Ukraine and its Western backers intend to use the summit to try and convince non-aligned nations to adopt Kyiv’s demands for peace, which include a full Russian withdrawal from all territory that’s been captured, a non-starter for negotiations with Moscow.
Ukraine is also demanding Russia cede Crimea, which has been controlled by Moscow since 2014 and is populated by people who are happy they are part of the Russian Federation.
For their part, Russia insists any future peace deal must recognize the territory it has annexed in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhzhia, demonstrating how far apart the two sides are. Russia said that it would monitor the talks in Saudi Arabia this weekend.
“Undoubtedly, Russia will keep an eye on this meeting. We’d have to fully understand what goals are being set and what the organizers actually plan to talk about. We have repeatedly said that any attempts to somehow contribute to a peaceful settlement deserve a positive assessment,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Peskov added that a peace deal with the Ukrainian government at this time was “impossible” as long as Ukraine is “used exclusively as a tool in the collective West’s war against Russia.”