On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky landed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to attend an Arab League summit. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, strongly supported by Russia, is also expected to attend.
Zelensky’s arrival and participation in the summit
Zelensky arrived aboard a French government jet and showed European support for Ukraine at this time of tension. In addition to the Arab League summit, Zelensky will attend the G7 leadership meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, this weekend.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia plays an important role and we are ready to take our cooperation to a new level,” Zelensky tweeted after his arrival, reflecting the importance of relations between the two countries in the global context.
Saudi Arabia’s mediation in the war between Ukraine and Russia
In the past, Saudi Arabia, led by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, has mediated in the war between Ukraine and Russia. Indeed, last year, Prince Mohammed achieved great diplomatic success by securing the release of 10 foreigners detained by Russia in Ukraine, thanks to his close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Gulf states have tried to take a neutral stance in the conflict in Ukraine, despite Western pressure to take sides against Russia.
The controversial decision of OPEC+
OPEC+’s decision to cut oil production was heavily criticized by the United States and other Western countries, as it was seen as supporting Russia by driving up crude oil prices. However, the market has shown that the cuts were sensible.
In a context where Russia’s war against Ukraine has destabilized world energy markets, the Kingdom’s role as the world’s largest oil exporter has become relevant to both Washington and Moscow.
Saudi Arabia at the epicenter of global energy markets
At a time when the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has destabilized global energy markets, Saudi Arabia’s position as the world’s largest oil exporter is becoming increasingly relevant.
The role of the Kingdom is now more important than ever, attracting the attention of both Washington and Moscow.