Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Thursday that he had spoken with his counterpart in China, an ally of Russiarespect for the principle of territorial integrity.
“We talked about the importance of the principle of territorial integrity,” Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter after a phone conversation with Qin Gang.
In the same interview, the Chinese foreign minister called on Ukraine and Russia to resume their peace talks “as soon as possible”.
China fears the crisis is getting worse and spiraling out of control. And hopes all parties will keep calm, exercise restraint, resume peace talks as soon as possible and return to the path of political agreement,” Qin Gang said, according to a statement released by his ministry.
The call was the first official conversation between the two since China’s foreign minister took office in December.
China has so far refrained from condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, launched just over a year ago, but has repeatedly stressed the importance of respect for the borders of sovereign states. Last month, he strongly denied US claims that they were planning to send weapons to support Russia’s war.
Beijing published a position paper on Moscow’s war in Ukraine on February 24, in which it called for dialogue and tried to position itself as a neutral mediator.
Qin reiterated his support for the proposal on Thursday, saying Beijing had “maintained a objective and fair position on the Ukrainian issue, pledged to promote peace talks and called on the international community to create the conditions for peace talks.
Kuleba said that during his talk with Qin, Qin emphasized the importance of Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky’s proposals “to end aggression and restore a just peace in Ukraine.”
On the other hand, the government of Joe Biden in the United States estimated this Thursday that a conversation between Zelensky and Chinese leader Xi Jinping would be ‘a good thing’but warned Beijing not to take a “partial” view of the conflict.
“We think it would be great if they both talked,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters when asked about a report from the the wall street journal that the Ukrainian leader will speak to Xi for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine more than a year ago.
(With information from AFP and AP)
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