Ukraine’s PM non-committal on Chinese mediation for peace with Russia
Rome, Apr 27 (EFE).- The telephonic conversation between presidents Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Xi Jinping could open a new era of ties between Ukraine and Russia, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Thursday.
However, Shmyhal was non-committal on the Chinese role in brokering peace between Ukraine and Russia, despite Xi’s pitching Beijing as a potential mediator to end the war.
Xi and Zelenskyy spoke on Wednesday in the first known since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Shmyhal told a news conference in Rome that it was “a very productive conversation between the two presidents…(that) opens a new stage in relations between Ukraine and China.”
“I am convinced it is a good start and could prove a very positive beginning for future relations.”
Asked if they would accept China as a mediator, the prime minister said Ukraine had devised its “own path to peace, the Zelenskyy formula.”
“If a gang of criminals enters your apartment, who want to kill you and your children and take over your house, are you going to discuss and make peace with these bandits,” he asked.
He said Kyiv was fully aware of “what the liberation of Ukraine is,” apparently referring to the 10-point Zelenskyy peace plan, which involves restoring security and territorial integrity, guaranteeing food security, and does not include neutrality.
“All territories within the 1991 borders must be free. Security must be guaranteed by international structures. Only then will we be sure of having a stable, just, and lasting peace.”
Shmyhal met with Pope Francis in the Vatican after participating in a bilateral meeting with Italy on the reconstruction of Ukraine.
He asked Francisco for help in restoring a just peace and returning home Ukrainian children deported to Russia.
He repeatedly emphasized the pillars of the “Zelenskyy peace plan,” particularly guaranteeing radiation and nuclear safety, and food security, including protecting and ensuring Ukraine’s grain exports.
“We call on all countries to join Zelenskyy’s peace formula,” he said.
Shmyhal also referred to Ukraine’s possible entry into NATO and expected a decision during a June summit in Lithuania’s capital.
“The Ukrainian Army is today a standard NATO army, it follows its principles and uses its weapons,” he said. EFE