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Chinese leader Xi Jinping has been in Moscow meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and laying out Beijing’s 12-point peace plan to end Russia’s war in Ukraine since Monday. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has made it known that he is also willing to meet with Xi to discuss Kyiv’s peace formula for a possible end to the war that entered its second year last month.
“We believe that many of the provisions of the peace plan put forward by China are consonant with Russian approaches and can be taken as the basis for a peaceful settlement when they are ready for that in the West and in Kyiv,” Putin told Xi.
“However, so far we see no such readiness from their side,” Putin added, assigning blame for the lack of peace talks on Ukraine.
Zelensky, however, said Tuesday that the Ukrainian government has already reached out to China and invited officials in Beijing to engage in talks regarding how to implement Kyiv’s peace plan and that he is waiting to hear back from the Chinese.
“We offered China to become a partner in the implementation of the peace formula across all channels. We invite you to dialogue. We are waiting for your answer,” Zelensky said during a Tuesday press conference and added, “We are receiving some signals, but there are no specifics yet.”
Last month, Zelensky surprised many when he responded positively to Xi offering Beijing’s 12-point peace plan as a starting place for negotiations.
“I think the fact that China started talking about Ukraine is not bad. But the question is what follows the words,” Zelensky said last month.
“I think some of the Chinese proposals respect international law, and I think we can work on it with China. Why not? Our goal is to gather many around us to isolate one [Russia],” Zelensky concluded.
After China released its peace plan a few weeks ago, Beijing has begun to emerge as a mediator between the two countries, but not everyone is happy about the possibility of China-led peace negotiations. Washington has been forced to take a backseat amid unprecedented Russian and Chinese cooperation.
There is also likely mounting pressure being put on Zelensky to reject any friendly approaches from China, as many in the West see Beijing’s attempt at mediating negotiations as a way to keep Russia strong and on the offensive in Ukraine. It will be interesting to see if China and Ukraine are able to materialize talks that bring in Moscow, although Washington is sure to be quite displeased.
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