Ukraine discussed with China “the importance of territorial integrity”

Archive photo of Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (AP/Efrem Lukatsky) (Efrem Lukatsky/)

Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Thursday that he had spoken with his counterpart from China, an ally of Russiaon respect for the principle of territorial integrity.

“We talked about the importance of the principle of territorial integrity,” Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter after a phone conversation with Qin Gang.

In the same interview, the Chinese foreign minister called on Ukraine and Russia to resume their peace talks “as soon as possible.”

China fears that the crisis will worsen and become uncontrollable. And he hopes that all parties will remain calm, exercise restraint, resume peace talks as soon as possible and return to the path of political settlement,” Qin Gang said, according to a statement released by his ministry.

The call was the first official conversation between the two since the Chinese foreign minister took office in December.

File photo: Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang (AP/Andy Wong)
File photo: Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang (AP/Andy Wong) (Andy Wong/)

China has so far refrained from condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, launched just over a year ago, but has repeatedly stressed the importance of the respect for the borders of sovereign states. Last month he strongly denied US claims that it was considering sending arms to support Russia’s war.

Beijing published on February 24 a position document on Moscow’s war in Ukraine, in which it called for dialogue and tried to position itself as a neutral mediator.

Qin on Thursday reiterated his support for that proposal, saying that Beijing had “maintained a objective and fair position on the Ukrainian issue, had pledged to promote peace talks and had called on the international community to create the conditions for peace talks.”

Kuleba stated that when talking to Qin, Qin stressed the importance of Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky’s proposals “to end the aggression and restore a just peace in Ukraine.”

File photo of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov together with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang (REUTERS)
File photo of the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, together with the Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang (REUTERS) (RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY /)

On the other hand, the government of Joe Biden in the US considered this Thursday that a conversation between Zelensky and Chinese leader Xi Jinping would be “a good thing”but warned Beijing not to take a “one-sided” view of the conflict.

“We think it would be very good if the two of them talked,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters when asked about a report by the Wall Street Journal that the Ukrainian leader will speak to Xi for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine more than a year ago.

(With information from AFP and AP)

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