Zelensky wants China to participate in Ukrainian peace talks, citing ‘influence on Russia’

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during an interview with AFP at the presidential office in Kiev, on May 17, 2024.



CNN

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he wanted to work with countries like China with “influence on Russia” as his country faces a renewed attack on Moscow, and urged Beijing to attend peace talks next month.

Zelensky said Chinese leader Xi Jinping assured him in a phone call that Beijing supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity — though he did not say when the exchange occurred.

Putin was speaking in an interview with Agence France-Presse broadcast on Friday, shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s two-day visit to China, during which the two countries pledged deeper strategic cooperation.

Beijing never condemned the Russian invasion in February 2022, instead claiming neutrality in the conflict and issuing a vague 12-point stance on its decision. Ahead of expected peace talks in Switzerland next month, Xi did just that He called for negotiations Which takes the positions of both sides into account.

Involving global players like China is crucial because “they have influence over Russia, and the more of these countries are on our side…the more Russia is forced to act and act.” [more countries] “It must be reckoned with,” Zelensky said.

Referring to the assurances he said Xi gave him over the phone about territorial integrity, he added: “They support that, but what they will do, we have yet to see.” the Known phone only The phone call between Zelensky and the Chinese leader was in April last year.

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Zelensky said he would like to see China at international talks scheduled in Switzerland next month, which aim to pave the way for the peace process in Ukraine. Reuters reported on Thursday, citing Swiss President Viola Amherd, that the summit has attracted delegations from more than 50 countries so far.

Sergey Popilov/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping attend an official reception in front of the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on May 16, 2024.

China has not committed to the event, although its ambassador to Switzerland, Wang Shihting, said in March that Beijing was considering participating.

Russia has not been represented in any of the four rounds of closed international peace talks that have taken place so far, and it will not be in this round. China attended a conference hosted by Saudi Arabia, its increasingly close strategic partner.

During a recent six-day trip to Europe, Xi said Pay for retreat He denied allegations that his country supports Russia’s war in Ukraine, saying China “opposes that.”[s] Using the Ukrainian crisis to shift responsibility or slander a third country and provoke a new Cold War.”

But it is join French President Emmanuel Macron called for a global Olympic truce that would see a cessation of fighting in all conflicts during the upcoming summer games in Paris.

However, Zelensky expressed doubts about the ceasefire proposal, citing insufficient guarantees against Russian advances.

Zelensky said: “Even if we imagine that there is a kind of Olympic truce for two weeks and everyone stands neutral, tell me, I told Emmanuel, who can guarantee that Russia will not take advantage of this time to bring its forces to our lands.” France Press agency.

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He added: “There is a danger that although we do not respond to them and do not stop them with artillery fire, even (in the areas) where they advance, there is a danger that they will bring more heavy military equipment to our territory.”

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