Saudi FM Prince Faisal affirmed the Kingdom’s support for all efforts to find a political solution to the ongoing war in Ukraine…reports Asian Lite News
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan has announced Kingdom’s willingness to mediate between the parties to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
During a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Prince Faisal, who is paying a working visit to Moscow, reiterated the Kingdom’s stance in support of all regional and international endeavours aimed at finding a political solution to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, Saudi Press Agency reported.
In turn, the FM Lavrov appreciated the Kingdom’s efforts in regional and international peace, especially in the Ukraine conflict, and its efforts to bring peace to Yemen.
Meanwhile, both top diplomats have voiced common willingness to further develop bilateral relations.
During the official talks, both sides affirmed the depth of the relationship between the Kingdom and Russia, emphasizing the importance of continuing their approach of consultation, coordination, and cooperation.
Russia has always prioritised its ties with Saudi Arabia and is satisfied with their development, Lavrov said during talks with Faisal, Xinhua news agency reported.
“Despite the difficult situation in the world, we have managed to maintain our trade turnover at a decent level. Last year, it amounted to $1.7 billion. This is not the limit. We have agreed to take additional steps to increase trade in the future,” Lavrov said at a briefing after the talks.
At the briefing, Faisal said that the two countries have managed to develop relations in various fields and Riyadh will continue to strengthen cooperation with Moscow in all sectors.
“We reaffirmed mutual readiness to further coordinate our actions within the framework of the OPEC+,” Lavrov told reporters, while Faisal underscored the importance of Saudi Arabia-Russia cooperation as it is crucial for restoring stability in the energy market.
The session was attended by Mikhail Bogdanov, the Deputy Foreign Minister and Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and North Africa; Abdulrahman Al-Ahmad, Saudi Ambassador to the Russian Federation, and Abdulrahman Al-Dawood, Director General of the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In February, Prince Faisal bin Farhan had visited Kyiv where he met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and held a press conference with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
Saudi Arabia has played a key role in negotiating prisoner exchanges during the conflict, helping secure the release of a number of prisoners in September.
The official Saudi Press Agency said at the time that “mediation efforts led to the release of ten prisoners of war, who are Moroccan, US, UK, Swedish and Croatian nationals, who are being released as part of an exchange of POWs between Russia and Ukraine.”
Earlier, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, to discuss the crisis in Ukraine and issues pertaining to OPEC.
Saudi aid to Ukraine
Earlier this month, a Saudi relief plane carrying 30 tons of the Kingdom’s assistance for the Ukrainian People arrived at the Polish Rzeszow Airport near the Ukrainian border.
The payload consists of shelter materials, electric generators, and medical supplies.
The Kingdom earlier signed an agreement and a memorandum of understanding to provide an additional package of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine worth $400 million, which includes the provision of humanitarian aid from the Kingdom to Ukraine at a value of $100 million.
The Kingdom has previously provided urgent medical and relief aid worth $10 million for refugees fleeing Ukraine to neighboring countries, particularly Poland, in coordination with the Polish government and United Nations organisations.
‘Retaliation strike’ in Ukraine
Russia on Thursday said that it has carried out a major “retaliation strike” on Ukraine in wake of the “terrorist attack” on Russia’s Bryansk region last week.
“The massive retaliation strike” hit key elements of Ukraine’s military infrastructure, defence industry complexes as well as energy facilities that contribute to their operations, it said. “The mission has been accomplished. All assigned targets have been hit,” the defence ministry statement said.
The ministry went on to say that the barrage destroyed attack drone bases and disrupted the transportation of reserves and foreign weapons. The attack also disabled production facilities used for repairing military equipment and ammunition production, it claimed.
Ukraine had earlier in the day reported a wave of Russian airstrikes hitting several major cities across the country, from Kharkiv in the north, to Odesa in the south and Zhytomyr in the west.