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Macron visits China after Beijing’s Ukraine peace plan

KIEV (UKRAINE) – French President Emmanuel Macron said Saturday he would visit China in April and urged it to pressure Russia to end the war in Ukraine, a day after Beijing unveiled a peace plan.

China has sought to maintain a neutral stance while maintaining close ties with strategic ally Moscow, releasing a 12-point position paper on Friday calling for urgent peace talks and a “political settlement” to end the conflict.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday also expressed his hope of meeting Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, calling it “important for world security”.

Macron said on Saturday he would visit China “early April” and urged Beijing to help put “pressure” on Russia to end the war.

“The fact that China is committed to peace is a good thing,” Macron said on the sidelines of an agricultural fair in Paris, referring to the position paper.

Peace is only possible if “Russian aggression is stopped, troops are withdrawn and the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine and its people are respected,” he added.

Earlier Saturday, China’s Foreign Ministry said Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko would pay a state visit from February 28 to March 2 at the invitation of President Xi.

A longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Lukashenko allowed his country to be used as a launch pad for Moscow’s invasion of its pro-Western ally on February 24 last year.

Kiev has raised concerns that Belarus could again assist Moscow in its war effort after the countries announced the creation of a joint regional force last October.

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang told his Belarusian counterpart Sergei Alejnik Beijing is ready to work with Minsk to deepen mutual political trust during a phone call on Friday, China’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

China will continue to support Belarus in maintaining its national stability and resist attempts by “external forces” to interfere in its internal affairs or impose “illegal” unilateral sanctions on Minsk, Qin told Alejnik.

– Diplomatic Trenches Exposed –

The diplomatic rift between Beijing, Moscow and the West was exposed on Saturday when G20 finance ministers failed to adopt a joint statement on the global economy after China tried to water down references to the Ukraine war.

Russia said the United States, the European Union and the G7 had “destabilized” the talks in India by trying to impose their “dictates”.

The Chinese position paper called on all parties to “support Russia and Ukraine to work in the same direction and resume direct dialogue as soon as possible.”

She has also made clear her opposition to the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons after Putin threatened to use Moscow’s nuclear arsenal in the conflict.

Several Western powers rejected the proposals and also warned against close ties between Beijing and Moscow. China has dismissed a claim by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that it was considering “deadly support” for Russia.

Macron urged Beijing “not to supply arms to Russia” and asked for Beijing’s help to “put pressure on Russia to ensure it never uses chemical or nuclear weapons and stops this aggression before negotiations”.

Zelenskyy did not say on Friday when or where talks with Xi would take place, but expressed hope that China would support a “just peace” in Ukraine and that Beijing would not supply arms to Russia.

On the spot, the head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group said his forces captured another village on the outskirts of the front-line town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine on Saturday.

Yevgeny Prigozhin demanded the capture of Yagidne, not far from the center of Bakhmut, which has become an important political and symbolic prize in the struggle for control of the eastern Donbass region.


Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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