Before his travel to Japan, Zelensky accused some Arab leaders of turning a blind eye to conflict.
Before his departure to the G7 in Japan, Volodymyr Zelensky accused several Arab leaders of “turning a blind eye” to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Friday, the Ukrainian president made the remarks while visiting an Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia.
Only Syria has openly endorsed Russia’s incursion among Arab League members. Others have attempted to keep good relations with Moscow.
However, Mr Zelensky believes that some countries should reconsider their relations with Russia.
“Unfortunately, there are some around the world and among you who turn a blind eye to those [prisoner of war] cages and illegal annexations,” Mr Zelensky added.
“I’m here so that everyone can take an honest look, because no matter how hard the Russians try to influence, there must still be independence.”
Mr Zelensky also told the assembled leaders in Jeddah that his country was defending itself against colonialists and imperialists, seemingly invoking the Arab world’s own history of invasion and occupation.
Saudi Arabia has walked a fine line in the conflict, supporting a UN resolution calling on Russia to withdraw its troops and pledging $400 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine while resisting imposing sanctions on Russia, preferring to see itself as neutral in the conflict.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reiterated Saudi Arabia’s willingness to mediate between Moscow and Kiev in order to resolve the conflict at the summit.
Syria, however, has just recently been readmitted to the Arab League; its leader, Bashar al-Assad, told the summit that the region now had a historic opportunity to restructure itself without international meddling.
Mr Zelensky also targeted Iran, which is not a member of the Arab League, for supplying Russia with Shahed drones. Iran has denied providing drones for the fight.