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Saudi Arabia to host Ukraine peace talks


Russia's Putin has said he's open to peace talks

Crude oil, wheat, natural gas markets affected by war

  • Author
  • Jennifer Gnana    Rosemary Griffin
  • Editor
  • Claudia Carpenter
  • Commodity
  • Agriculture LNG Natural Gas Oil

Saudi Arabia is set to host Ukraine peace talks in the western coastal city of Jeddah in early August, a senior official told S&P Global Commodity on July 30.

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The move by the world's largest oil exporter could have a significant impact on the oil, grains and other commodities markets.

"It is confirmed that is happening within the next week hopefully," Hussain al-Shammari, head of international relations at the Ministry of Media, said.

Riyadh, which is a close ally of Russia through the OPEC+ producer alliance, is set to host the talks to mediate peace between Ukraine and Moscow, more than a year after the latter invaded Kiev.

The Saudi plans come after Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated July 29 that he is open to peace talks during a press conference with reporters at the end of a major Russia-Africa Summit held in St Petersburg.

In recent months a group of African nations have attempted to set up peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, so far with little success.

Putin said that their initiative "could be used as the basis for some mechanisms aimed at finding peace, just like others, for example, the Chinese peace initiative."

Putin added, however, that current conditions in the conflict make a ceasefire difficult.

"There are things that are difficult, or impossible, to implement... For example, one of the points there is a ceasefire. But the Ukrainian army is advancing, it is on the attack. As they say, it is implementing a large-scale strategic offensive. We can't cease fire when we're being attacked," he said.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine launched in February 2022 has triggered wide-ranging western sanctions on commodities and financial markets. Among the key sanctions that could get removed if the Ukraine war ends include the EU's import bans and G7 price caps on Russian oil, while wheat prices could drop as grain shipments increase. Natural gas and LNG prices have also been affected by the war. It is unclear how quickly any sanctions could be lifted, or how that would impact trade flows. Many western countries have responded to the war with policies aimed at becoming permanently independent of Russian imports.

No further details were available regarding the peace summit, Shammari said.

The talks were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which counted some 30 countries that have been invited to attend including Indonesia, Egypt, Mexico, Chile and Zambia.

The UK, South Africa, Poland and the EU are among those who have confirmed attendance, according to the newspaper. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is expected to attend, it added.