China says it is “difficult to hold” discussions on war between Russia and Ukraine, citing problems with the arrangements

BEIJING (AP) — China said Friday it would be “difficult to meet” calls for discussions on it The Russian-Ukrainian warPointing to problems with the arrangements that appear to indicate Beijing’s staunchly pro-Moscow stance.

“It seems difficult to meet China’s hopes for the meeting,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said.

“There is still a clear gap between the meeting arrangements and the demands of the Chinese side, as well as the general expectations of the international community,” Mao said.

Mao did not provide details, but said China “has communicated our considerations and concerns to relevant parties.” He will remain in contact with all parties concerned. China claims to be neutral in the conflict, but has strongly supported Russia recently Hosting President Vladimir Putin On a state visit.

In an interview with China’s official Xinhua News Agency published on Wednesday, Putin praised his efforts Relations with Chinese leader Xi Jinping“President Xi maintains a respectful, friendly, open and business-like communication style,” he said.

“Every meeting between us is not just a dialogue between old friends… but also a fruitful exchange of views on the most important issues on the bilateral and international agenda,” Putin said.

Putin praised Beijing’s largely rejected peace plan for Ukraine that does not require Moscow to return territories it seized, saying: “We applaud China’s approaches to resolving the crisis in Ukraine.”

It was Switzerland Suggest conversations For the coming days in the hope of ending the war, which was sparked by Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, but Moscow did not agree to it.

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This story has been corrected to remove reference to Ukraine not supporting the talks. Ukraine supports them.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the war on https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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