President Volodimir Zelensky said a phone call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping for the first time since the country was invaded by Russia 14 months ago and after months of diplomatic efforts by Ukraine to arrange the call.
Zelenski indicated that the call was “long and significant” and expressed his belief that it would “give a powerful impetus to the development of our bilateral relations.”
As revealed by the presidential administration, special attention was paid to possible interaction with the aim of establishing a just and sustainable peace for Ukraine. The Ukrainian president briefed his Chinese counterpart on the situation at the front, stressing that Ukraine aims to completely liberate the occupied territories from Russian troops.
“Nobody wants peace more than the Ukrainian people. We are on our land and we are fighting for our future, exercising the inalienable right to self-defense,” Zelenski said.
After confirming Ukraine’s desire for peace, he spoke about the content of the peace formula proposed by Ukraine and expressed the hope of China’s active participation in efforts to restore peace.
“Peace must be just and stable, based on the principles of international law and respect for the UN Charter. There can be no peace at the expense of territorial commitments”, stressed the Ukrainian president during the call.
also emphasized the importance of all states refraining from supporting Russia in the war and to supply him with weapons. “The less support Russia receives, the sooner the war will end and peace will return to international relations,” Zelensky stressed.
Zelensky also focused on the kidnapping of 20,000 children by Russia and emphasized the provision to guarantee food security in the world through the Grain Agreement. According to Ukraine, the parties agreed to hold “regular dialogue.”
Following the call, Zelensky’s order to appoint an ambassador to China was revealed. Pavlo Riabikin, an experienced lawyer and politiciana former minister of strategically important industries, will represent Ukraine’s interests in China in the hope of preventing the Asian giant from supporting an invasion of Russia.
In Ukraine, it has been seen that China heavily supported Russia during the invasionafter failing to condemn the attack on a sovereign nation, providing almost no humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and with its leader visiting Moscow in March.
China’s so-called peace plan was rejected by Ukraine because it would effectively help Russia solidify its territorial gains in the invaded country. Instead, Ukraine’s leaders reiterated that peace talks must be based on the principles of the UN Charter and the Zelensky plan, which call for the full withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.
However, Ukraine’s leaders have been open to talks with China, on the basis of shared principles of sovereignty and inadmissibility of nuclear escalation.
The day of the call Ukraine commemorated the Chernobyl disaster that happened exactly 37 years agowith painful memories revived by the brief Russian occupation of the site last spring, as well as the ongoing occupation of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia.
Zelensky called on China to play an effective role in resolving the security issue around the nuclear power plant. In a call to Rafael Grossi, head of the IAEA, the Ukrainian leader stressed that only “the return of full control over the plant to Ukraine can protect the world from a new disaster”.
The area around the plant has been regularly bombarded in recent months, and only one power line in four continues to supply electricity. On several occasions, its reactors have been disconnected from the electrical grid and have had to rely on backup power generators to ensure they cool properly. According to experts, a possible radioactive leak would contaminate Ukraine’s fertile agricultural land, making it impossible to plant crops there for hundreds of years, and could reach neighboring countries.
IAEA experts are present at the stationBut little may change there as staff are held hostage and pressured into submission, according to multiple reports from Ukraine. Military equipment and troops from Russia are present at the plant.