President Zelensky has said his 10-point plan is “gradually becoming global” after 66 countries took part in Ukrainian-backed peace talks in Malta on Saturday.

Zelensky addressed the first of two days of closed-door talks among national security and policy advisors, which he hopes will drum up support for his plan to end the war.

It was the third round of such talks that were held without Russia, which condemned it as a “blatantly anti-Russian event,” AFP reports.

In a statement on Saturday evening, Zelensky said the number of countries involved was proof his plan “has gradually become global.”

He added: “And it is very symbolic that such a strong display of international unity we have today, on October 28, the day when in Ukraine we commemorate the Second World War and the anniversary of the expulsion of the Nazis from our territory.

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“We can see now that the architecture created then did not work. But unity will certainly work effectively. The unity of all who help Ukraine defeat ruscism.

“And we will defeat it. For sure.”

An EU official told AFP: “The meeting confirmed the broad interest and increasing support for the key elements of Ukraine's Peace Formula.

Against the backdrop of the Hamas-Israel war, it also showed "that restoration of just peace is important beyond Ukraine – it is about a global plea for respect of international law".

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Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova however has dismissed the Malta talks as a "blatantly anti-Russian event".

They had “nothing to do with the search for a peaceful resolution,” she said on Thursday.

“Obviously such gatherings have absolutely no perspective, they are simply counterproductive.”

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