China hopes Russia, Ukraine to hold peace talks: senior Chinese diplomat

BEIJING, March 16 (Reuters) – China is worried about an escalation of the war in Ukraine and hopes that Moscow and Kiev will hold peace talks, senior Chinese diplomat Qin Gang told his Ukrainian counterpart on Thursday. a phonecall.

China, which has refrained from condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, urged both sides to agree to a gradual de-escalation leading to a comprehensive ceasefire in its 12-point document on the “political resolution of the Ukrainian crisis”.

The plan, which received a mixed reception from both sides, called for the protection of civilians and respect for the sovereignty of the other.

“China hopes that all parties will remain calm, rational and restrained, and resume peace talks as soon as possible,” Qin told Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement.

Qin added that China hopes Ukraine and Russia will not close the door to a political solution, however difficult and difficult the situation may be, the ministry said.

Kuleba said he and Qin discussed “the importance of the principle of territorial integrity” during the call.

“I stressed the importance of (Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s) peace formula to end aggression and restore just peace in Ukraine,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

Ukraine has said any plan to end the conflict must involve the withdrawal of Russian troops to Ukraine’s borders in 1991, the year the Soviet Union dissolved.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Russian Vladimir Putin as early as next week and hold a virtual meeting with Zelenskiy.

Analysts say it will be difficult for China to bring Russia and Ukraine to the negotiating table, but some have pointed out that Xi could serve as a “side channel” to build momentum towards the talks.

Hong Kong Newsroom report; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Nick Macfie

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Leave a Comment