Saudi Arabia pledges to mediate in Russia-Ukraine war during Moscow visit

Prince Faisal bin Farhan’s trip to Russian capital comes two weeks after he visited Kyiv

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) and Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan in Moscow on Thursday. AP
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said on Thursday that Riyadh was ready to mediate in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

He said the kingdom supports international efforts to find a political solution to the crisis.

“I affirmed to His Excellency the Russian Foreign Minister the kingdom's readiness to exert all efforts to mediate between the parties,” Prince Faisal said after meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Prince Faisal’s visit to Moscow comes two weeks after a trip to Kyiv where he met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and held a press conference with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Mr Lavrov said Saudi Arabia and other countries had played a pivotal role in arranging prisoner exchanges with Ukraine.

In September, Russia released 10 prisoners of war captured in Ukraine after diplomatic mediation efforts by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“We are in dialogue with all partners, including Washington, on international issues and Saudi Arabia facilitated the exchange of prisoners of war with Ukraine,” Prince Faisal said on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia maintains strong ties with Kyiv and Moscow. In October, the kingdom pledged $400 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, which the Saudi government said was to “alleviate the suffering of Ukrainian citizens”.

On the continuing conflict in Yemen, the Saudi Foreign Minister said Riyadh was committed to seeking a permanent ceasefire, beginning the political process towards peace talks.

During his discussions with Mr Lavrov, Prince Faisal said Saudi Arabia was co-ordinating closely with Russia on energy markets and was committed to the Opec+ agreement between Opec members and allies.

Updated: March 09, 2023, 10:59 AM