The war between Russia and Ukraine: Zelensky accuses China of helping Russia disrupt the upcoming peace talks

SINGAPORE (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused China on Sunday of helping Russia disrupt the upcoming deal. Peace conference organized by Switzerland About the war in Ukraine.

Speaking at the first Asia Security Conference, Zelensky said China was pressuring other countries and their leaders not to attend the upcoming talks. He didn’t say any of it.

“Russia, using Chinese influence in the region, using Chinese diplomats as well, is doing everything to derail the peace summit,” he said at a press conference at the Shangri-La Defense Forum. He added, “It is unfortunate that a large, independent, and powerful country like China is a tool in the hands of (Russian leader Vladimir) Putin.”

China has bet on what it says is a neutral position the warWhich puts it at odds with Ukraine, the United States, and most of Europe. Its trade with Russia has grown, mitigating the economic impact of Western sanctions. American, Ukrainian and other intelligence agencies say there is evidence that Chinese parts end up in Russian weapons, even if China is not directly arming its neighbor.

The Swiss had hoped that China would attend the peace conference in mid-June, but Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning He pointed out on Friday That this was unlikely. China is calling for a peace conference with equal participation from all parties, including Russia, which was not invited.

“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. “This makes it difficult for China to participate in the meeting.”

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The Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Zelensky’s accusation.

“This is not just support for Russia, it is basically support for war,” the Ukrainian leader said of the pressure China is putting on others.

In a speech to the security conference earlier in the day, Zelensky urged senior defense officials to attend the upcoming talks in Switzerland, saying he was disappointed by the failure of some countries to commit to joining.

Chinese Minister of Defense Dong Jun spoke Zelensky accepted at the Shangri-La conference, but was not in the room when Zelensky submitted his appeal.

Zelensky said Ukraine has proposals to present at the summit as a basis for peace, addressing nuclear security, food security, the release of prisoners of war and the return of Ukrainian children kidnapped by Russia.

He added: “Time is running out, and children are growing up in Putin’s land where they are learning to hate their homeland.”

Meanwhile, Zelensky said that Ukraine is “ready to hear various proposals and ideas that lead us…to the end of the war and to a sustainable and just peace.”

The more involvement, he added, the more likely Russia will be forced to listen.

He said: “The global majority, with its participation, can ensure the implementation of what has already been agreed upon.”

Zelensky said he intends to meet individually with the Prime Minister of Singapore and will urge him to personally participate in the Swiss talks.

“The same applies to countries in the region,” he said through a translator. “We are really counting on your support for this summit, and that you will be present in Switzerland.”

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Two senior Philippine government officials said he may travel from Singapore to Manila to invite President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to attend the summit in person.

One of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the matter, said Ukrainian officials have informed the Philippines of Zelensky’s intention to go, but the visit is uncertain because the Ukrainian president’s travel plans are constantly changing.

Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen, who shared the podium with Zelensky, did not say whether his country’s leaders would attend, but noted that Singapore had condemned the invasion and had provided Ukraine with military ambulances.

He said: “We stand with you, and I believe that your appearance at this Shangri-La Dialogue is an example of what we all hope for, which is a rules-based system that ensures the security and survival of countries large and small.”

Dong did not specifically mention the Switzerland meetings in his speech to the forum, but said, “Regarding the Ukrainian crisis, China is promoting peace talks with a responsible attitude.”

He added that China did not provide weapons to either side of the conflict.

He added: “We did not do anything to fan the flames.” “We stand firmly on the side of peace and dialogue.”

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin sat in the front row as Zelensky spoke. in Saturday address“Putin’s aggressive war has provided us all with a preview of a world that none of us want,” Austin told the security conference.

“We are all inspired by the courage of the Ukrainian forces and the resilience of the Ukrainian people,” Austin said. “People around the world have rushed to help Ukraine defend itself, including countries across the Indo-Pacific.”

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Moritsugu reported from Hong Kong. Associated Press writer Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines, contributed.

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