Conflicts & War

Zelenskyy sees ‘opportunity’ to restore peace after talks with Xi

Kyiv, Apr 27 (EFE).- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed optimism about the prospects for peace following a “long and quite rational conversation” with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

The two leaders spoke on Wednesday.

Zelenskyy said that such conversations “open up opportunities.”

“There is an opportunity to use China’s political influence to restore the strength of the principles and rules on which peace should be based,“ he wrote on his official webpage on Wednesday night.

“Ukraine and China, as well as the vast majority of the world, are equally interested in the strength of the sovereignty of nations and territorial integrity,” the president said.

He rejected the nuclear threats and the proliferation of atomic weapons.

“We are equally interested in ensuring that the situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is finally fully secured.”

Zelenskyy said nuclear power plants should “never (be) used for military purposes again, which is exactly the kind of cynical use Russia is trying to make the norm.”

“It is very important that China shares our view of freedom of navigation and trade,” the Ukraine president noted.

“I briefed Xi Jinping on our efforts to restore seaborne food exports. And I heard words of support for our Black Sea Grain Initiative and its extension, as well as support for our humanitarian efforts.”

He stressed that “an essential part of the conversation” was Ukrainian views on ways to “restore a just peace.”

“I presented the Ukrainian Peace Formula, its specific points. We agreed to continue our communications.”

The conversation was the first time the two leaders had spoken since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year.

Xi met Russian President Vladimir Putin in March after devising a 12-point peace plan outlining Beijing’s stance on resolving the conflict in Ukraine.

In the document, China defended Ukraine’s territorial integrity while calling for appreciating Russia’s “legitimate” security concerns.

The West sees it as a wink to Russian demands for a neutral Ukraine outside of NATO.

While Kyiv has welcomed China’s attempts at mediation, it has warned that Russia must first withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory before the peace plan can be implemented, alluding to the fact that Beijing’s plan does not address Moscow’s illegal annexation of four regions in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Moscow and Beijing have continued to deepen ties, as Russia has become more reliant on exports to China amid sweeping international sanctions.

While Xi has pitched Beijing as a potential mediator for peace, China has so far maintained an ambiguous stance on the war in Ukraine.

Beijing abstained from voting on a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly condemning the Russian invasion.

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