Zelensky shows some openness to China’s cease-fire proposal: ‘The question is what follows the words’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signaled he is somewhat open to working with China on its cease-fire plan for the war between Russia and Ukraine.

“I believe that the fact that China started talking about Ukraine is not bad, but the question is what follows the words,” Zelensky said at a press conference on Friday, The Associated Press reported

China released a 12-point plan for trying to find a resolution in the conflict as the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine arrived. The plan includes points calling for respecting all countries’ sovereignty, ending hostilities, resuming peace talks and resolving the humanitarian crisis that has been created by the war. 

Zelensky said China’s plan seems to call for protecting the territorial integrity of Ukraine, noting that while it does not mention the country specifically, Ukraine’s territory is the one that has been breached. He said China’s call for nuclear security is in line with Ukrainian and international interests. 

He said he disagrees with some proposals, but Ukraine should look to work with a plan that respects international law and territorial integrity. He also reportedly said he wants to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Volodymyr Fesenko, the leader of the independent think tank Penta Center in Kyiv, told the AP that he believes Zelensky will try to work with China to prevent Beijing from increasing its ties to Russia. 

U.S. officials have warned that China has sent nonlethal aid to support Russia despite officially being neutral in the conflict and is considering sending lethal aid as well. The Pentagon has warned that China will face consequences if it sends weapons or munitions to Russia. 

“As long as China comes up with peacemaker initiatives, it will be forced to maintain neutrality and to abstain from supplying weapons and direct military assistance to Russia,” Fesenko said.

Tags China-Russia relations lethal aid Russia-Ukraine war Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky

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