‘Would like them to…’: Ukraine's Zelensky says China ‘ambiguous' on Russia

Published on Sep 24, 2022 05:20 PM IST

Russia-Ukraine War: The comments came after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Ukrainian counterpart this week.

Russia-Ukraine War: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak.(AFP)
Russia-Ukraine War: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak.(AFP)
Bloomberg |

Ukraine’s president said he would like to renew relations with China, whose position on the Russian invasion he termed “ambiguous.”

“I would like them to help Ukraine,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with Ouest-France on Friday, adding that a call with Chinese President Xi Jinping “would be difficult today.”

Zelensky told the newspaper that before Russia’s invasion seven months ago “there were communications channels” with Beijing, and “we had a lot of economic and trade cooperation.”

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The comments came after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Ukrainian counterpart this week during the UN General Assembly in New York.

After the meeting, Wang said China has called for all parties in the conflict to resume talks and to de-escalate nuclear risks, saying there’s “no room for trial and error” on the safety of atomic facilities.

“China has always been committed to pursuing peace and promoting talks. It has never stood idly by, nor has it added fuel to the fire, nor will it take advantage of the opportunity to gain self-interest,” Wang told Ukraine’s Dmytro Kuleba, according to the South China Morning Post.

Another Chinese official, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, this week sidestepped a question about the legality of Russian “referenda” now under way in four occupied areas of Ukraine. He instead repeated China’s call for “all parties to resolve their differences through dialogue and consultation.”

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At the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell also spoke with Wang Yi about the conflict in Ukraine. Borrell “reiterated Europe’s expectations that China uses its influence on Russia to end the war.”

China’s Wang and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are both scheduled to speak at the UNGA on Saturday.

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