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Zelensky: I had a long and meaningful phone call with Xi Jinping

The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, made the first phone call with the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, since the beginning of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and announced that he had sent a Chinese delegation in favor of a “political solution” to the crisis. The dialogue had been expected for weeks, after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Moscow, and Beijing’s drafting of a plan for a political solution to the conflict. The talks, more than 14 months into the conflict, lasted nearly an hour, and were “long and meaningful,” the Ukrainian president described on Twitter. “I believe that this phone call, as well as the appointment of Ukraine’s ambassador to China, will give a strong impetus to the development of our bilateral relations,” Zelensky said. The conversation was an opportunity for Xi to reaffirm China’s stance in favor of peace and negotiations. “China has always been in favor of peace and its main position is to promote peace talks,” Xi was quoted by state broadcaster China Central Television, stressing that the talks between the two heads of state took place “at the request” of Ukraine. “Mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity is the political foundation of China-Ukraine relations,” Xi said – while recalling the topic of national sovereignty, a burning issue for both Kiev and Beijing, which it applies to the Taiwan issue. — The two countries should “focus on planning bilateral relations from a long-term perspective, continue the tradition of mutual respect and honesty between the two sides, and promote the development of the strategic partnership.” Xi said China is neither the “architect” nor the “involved party” in the Ukraine crisis, and Beijing has no intention of adding fuel to the fire of the conflict. He said that “dialogue and negotiations are the only viable way out,” is the thought of the Chinese president, and “there is no winner in a nuclear war,” with a call for “calm” and “sobriety.” A day after the countless threats from the Russian president Former Dmitry Medvedev on Moscow’s possible use of nuclear weapons. He hopes for “a path to long-term peace and stability in Europe through dialogue.” The Chinese initiative also includes sending a delegation, stressed Xi, noting that China “will send a special representative of the Chinese government for affairs Eurasian to visit Ukraine and other countries for in-depth contacts with all parties on a political solution to the Ukrainian crisis”. After the phone call, Zelensky appointed the new Ukrainian ambassador to China: he is the former Minister of Strategic Industries, Pavlo Ryabkin, and reports on Kiev, while for the role of special envoy, Beijing relies on the former ambassador to Russia, Li Hui — head of the Chinese Diplomatic Office in Moscow from 2009 to 2019 — according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry reports, though it is not clear when the Chinese diplomat will go to Ukraine, nor which countries he will visit. The first phone call between Xi and Zelensky since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine comes just two days after a whirlwind over allegations by the Chinese ambassador to France, Lu Shaye. The Beijing diplomat questioned the sovereign state status of Ukraine and the former Soviet republics, drawing protests from the Baltic states, before the official correction. Today’s talk was partially appreciated by Washington. US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby welcomed news of the phone call between Xi and Zelensky, which would allow China to “use the Ukrainian perspective on this illegal and unprovoked invasion by Russia,” and emphasized that the White House had not been notified. Conversations in advance. But Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova arrived to dampen the enthusiasm. “We note China’s desire to make efforts to establish the negotiation process,” the spokeswoman was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying. “At the same time, Kiev shows its rejection of any initiative aimed at an agreement,” he added.

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