- The Kremlin said the conditions are not right to pursue China’s plan for peace in Ukraine.
- China introduced a peace plan last week, which has been met with skepticism by the West.
- The US has warned that Beijing could provide weapons to Russia to use in Ukraine.
The Kremlin on Monday threw cold water on China’s peace plan for the Ukraine war, suggesting now is not the time to pursue such a proposal.
“We paid a lot of attention to our Chinese friends’ plan,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Monday, per the Moscow Times. “For now, we don’t see any of the conditions that are needed to bring this whole story towards peace,” he added.
This development came after the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday thanked Beijing for the new proposal but underscored that any peace deal would need to recognize “new territorial realities” in Ukraine.
In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin illegally annexed four Ukrainian regions and claimed them as part of Russia. Moscow also claims control over Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea that Russia illegally annexed after invading Ukraine in 2014.
Ukraine has maintained it would not agree to any peace deal requiring it to cede territory to Russia. China’s peace plan calls for the territorial integrity of all countries to be upheld but does not push for Russian troops to leave occupied Ukrainian territories.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy did not reject China’s proposal outright but responded with caution. As Ukraine marked the one year anniversary of the Russian invasion on Friday, Zelenskyy said that he wanted to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to discuss the plan.
“I believe that the fact that China started talking about Ukraine is not bad,” Zelenskyy said at a news conference, according to the Associated Press. “But the question is what follows the words. The question is in the steps and where they will lead to.”
China has claimed to be neutral when it comes to the war in Ukraine, but Western critics have scoffed at this notion and accused Beijing of tacitly endorsing Russia’s unprovoked invasion. China, which tends to side with Russia on geopolitical issues, has said it has a “no limits” partnership with Moscow. Beijing has avoided criticizing Russia over the invasion of Ukraine while criticizing the West for issuing sanctions against Moscow in response to the war. Meanwhile, Chinese state media has echoed the Kremlin’s propaganda about the conflict.
As the war in Ukraine enters its second year, Beijing is seemingly taking a more active approach to the war in Ukraine — and the West has taken notice. Amid historic tensions between Washington and Beijing, the Biden administration has been particularly critical of the Chinese government as Beijing shifts toward increased involvement.
US President Joe Biden in an interview that aired on Sunday told ABC that China’s plan would overwhelmingly benefit Russia. “I’ve seen nothing in the plan that would indicate that there is something that would be beneficial to anyone other than Russia if the Chinese plan were followed,” Biden said.
China’s peace plan was also unveiled days after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that Beijing could send lethal weapons to Russia to be used in Ukraine. The CIA has also issued warnings along these lines.
“We’re confident that the Chinese leadership is considering the provision of lethal equipment,” CIA Director Bill Burns told CBS News in an interview that aired Friday.
Burns also said that China had not yet made a “final decision” on whether to provide Moscow with lethal aid.
China has firmly rejected claims it’s considering sending arms to Russia while accusing the US of fueling the war by providing weapons to Ukraine.
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