Ukraine's Zelenskiy has 'productive' talks with Saudi crown prince

(Reuters) -Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday he had held "productive and energetic" talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman focusing on this week's "Peace Summit" in Switzerland and improving bilateral ties.

Kyiv aims to build international support for a peace plan proposed by Zelenskiy that includes a full withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and return to its 1991 post-Soviet borders.

Russia, which launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, has not been invited to the June 15-16 summit and dismisses it as pointless without its participation. China is staying away.

Zelenskiy, writing on the Telegram messaging app, said he and the crown prince discussed "preparations for the first, inaugural global peace summit, expectations for it, results and their possible implementation and efforts to move towards real peace for Ukraine".

Ukraine, Zelenskiy said, is "grateful to Saudi Arabia for its support. We appreciate His Highness's efforts to help find a rapid return to peace".

The Ukrainian president made no mention of whether the crown prince would attend the meeting near the Swiss city of Lucerne.

Saudi state news agency SPA said the crown prince had affirmed Saudi Arabia's "keenness and support for all international endeavours" to resolve the Ukraine-Russia conflict and discussed ways to mitigate its humanitarian impact.

Zelenskiy arrived in the Saudi city of Jeddah as part of his travels to build support ahead of the summit.

Ukraine has made considerable efforts to persuade countries from the global south to attend. It has also sought Saudi participation and one of the preparatory meetings for the summit was held in Jeddah.

(Reporting by Yomna Ehab and Jaidaa Taha;Editing by Peter Graff, Ron Popeski and Mark Heinrich)