Saudi Arabia to host Russia-less Ukraine peace talks, Kyiv confirms, as Moscow hit by more drones

Saudi Arabia will host Ukraine peace talks in Jeddah in early August, with several Ukraine-supporting and prominent unaligned nations — but not Russia — set to attend, The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press reported Sunday, citing diplomats. The planned peace summit comes as drones likely sent by Ukraine caused damage in Moscow early Sunday, in the third drone attack on Russia's capital in July.

Officials from up to 30 countries, including India and Brazil, are expected to attend the Aug. 5-6 summit in Jeddah, along with confirmed attendees South Africa, Poland, the U.K., and the EU, the Journal said. U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is also likely to go. Ukrainian presidential adviser Andriy Yermak confirmed the Saudi peace summit later Sunday, proposing that Ukraine's 10-point peace framework be the basis for the talks.

Kyiv and Riyadh are planning the summit as "Saudi Arabia is trying to play a larger role in diplomacy on Ukraine" and "Europe and Washington intensify efforts to consolidate international support for Ukraine's peace demands," the Journal reported. Saudi Arabia was chosen "partly in hopes of persuading China, which has maintained close ties to Moscow, to participate." Beijing sat out a first round of talks in Copenhagen in June, and it isn't expected to join in this round but hasn't ruled it out, the Journal added.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

The Kremlin blamed Ukraine for the drones sent to Moscow on Sunday, along with recent attacks in Russia-occupied Crimea and Russian regions closer to the Ukraine war. Kyiv, as it often does, cryptically acknowledged the attacks but did not claim responsibility. "Gradually, the war is returning to the territory of Russia — to its symbolic centers and military bases, and this is an inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday in his nightly address.

The drones damaged a skyscraper complex known as Moscow City, "a symbol of Russia's economic resurgence" under Russian President Vladimir Putin, The New York Times said. The attacks on Moscow haven't injured anybody, but they have "upended the assumption of people in Moscow" that they are safe from Putin's war. The "increased chance of being compelled to fight, drone attacks on Moscow, exceptional level of domestic repression, and the recent Wagner mutiny combine to highlight the Russian state's failure to insulate the population from the war," Britain's Ministry of Defense assessed early Monday.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.