Ukraine opens peace talks in Malta with 65 countries- but Russia not one of them

Representitives gathered to discuss Ukraine's ten-point peace plan to end the war.

Ukraine opens peace talks in Malta with 65 countries- but Russia not one of them
Malta's foreign minister Ian Borg meets a delegate during the weekend meeting organised by Ukraine to discuss its peace formula for ending the war with Russia, being held behind closed doors in an unnamed hotel in St Julian's, Malta October 28, 2023. Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Peace talks for the war in Ukraine are taking place in Malta (Picture: Reuters)

Talks over a peace plan in Ukraine have kicked off in Malta, with representatives with 65 countries in attendance for the two day summit.

Russia however, is not one of them.

The meeting of national security delegates is the third round of such talks in recent months.

Ukraine sees them as an opportunity to win support for President Volodymyr Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan from countries across the globe, especially as the conflict in the Middle East risks shifting the focus away from Ukraine.

Delegates pose for a photograph at the weekend meeting organised by Ukraine to discuss its peace formula for ending the war with Russia, being held behind closed doors in an unnamed hotel in St Julian's, Malta October 28, 2023. Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Representitives from 65 countries gathered to discuss the peace plan (Picture: Reuters)

However, Russia has repeatedly refused to attend the meetings, dismissing them as biased.

The initial round of talks in Copenhagen in June saw just 15 participants, which then rose to 43 for the second round in Jeddah in August.

‘Ukraine’s diplomatic efforts are paying off, as international support for the Ukrainian peace formula is growing,’ the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Andriy Yermak, wrote on Twitter ahead of the opening session, emphasising the strong international attendance.

In his speech at the conference, Mr Yermak noted that, as more and more states are joining the development of Mr Zelensky’s plan, ‘Russia will have to give in to the international community. It will have to accept our common conditions’.

What is Ukraine's ten-point peace plan?

On October 11, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced a ten-point peace plan agreed by members of the G7 to help bring an end to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The points are as follows:

1. Radiation and nuclear safety, focusing on restoring safety around Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine, which is now-Russian occupied.

2. Food security, including protecting and ensuring Ukraine’s grain exports to the world’s poorest nations.

3. Energy security, with focus on price restrictions on Russian energy resources, as well as aiding Ukraine with restoring its power infrastructure, half of which has been damaged by Russian attacks.

4. Release of all prisoners and deportees, including war prisoners and children deported to Russia.

5. Restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity and Russia reaffirming it according the U.N. Charter, which Zelenskiy said is “not up to negotiations”.

6. Withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities, restoration of Ukraine’s state borders with Russia.

7. Justice, including the establishment of a special tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes.

8. Prevention of ecocide, need for protection of environment, with focus on demining and restoring water treatment facilities.

9. Prevention of escalation of conflict, and building security architecture in the Euro-Atlantic space, including guarantees for Ukraine.

10. Confirmation of the war’s end, including a document signed by the involved parties.

(Credit: Reuters)

He then specified that five of the 10 points of the plan would be discussed at the weekend talks: nuclear safety, energy security, food security, the release of prisoners of war and deportees, and the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

In his opening remarks, Malta’s foreign minister, Ian Borg, said the high attendance was a “vote of confidence in Malta as a peace broker”, reiterating the country’s support for Ukraine.

‘Although we are a neutral state, we cannot remain silent in the face of injustice, atrocities and abuse of power in this region,” Mr Borg said.

‘Malta believes in multilateralism under the auspices of international law and the UN Charter.’

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