Ukraine and Russia highlighted, albeit with nuances, the 12-point plan announced by China to reach a “peaceful solution”, presented one year after the start of the Russian invasion, although the United States, the European Union (EU) and NATO They described it as “insufficient” amid criticism of the Asian giant’s closeness to the Kremlin.
The initiative announced late yesterday (this morning according to Beijing time) calls for “respect for sovereignty” and maintaining “territorial integrity” of all countries, two claims raised by Ukraine, as well as “abandoning Cold War mentality” “take legitimate security concerns seriously” and “stop unilateral sanctions”complaints mentioned above by Russia.
The content of the text prepared by China
The text of the Chinese Foreign Ministry also urges a ceasefire and a call for “moderation” to “prevent the situation from getting out of control”, and makes explicit the need to start peace talks, given that “dialogue and negotiation are the only viable way out to resolve the crisis”.
The proposal also emphasizes “resolving the humanitarian crisis” generated by the war, as well as “protecting” the civilian population and prisoners of war and “promoting reconstruction” in conflict zones.
Finally, the plan calls for “keeping nuclear power plants safe”, mainly in view of the risks due to Russian control of the Zaporizhia plant, the largest in Europe, and “facilitating the export of cereals” in the face of the food crisis that generated the war between two of the main exporting countries of cereals and fertilizers.
In that document, “It seems to me that there is respect for our territorial integrity, security issues. We must work with China on that point”President Volodimir Zelensky said, addressing a news conference in kyiv for the first anniversary of the conflict.
“It will be important for world security. China respects territorial integrity and should do everything possible to make Russia leave Ukrainian territory.”Volodomir Zelensky
The president even announced that he plans to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping: “It will be important for world security. China respects territorial integrity and must do everything possible to make Russia leave Ukrainian territory.”
the russian position
For its part, the Russian government said it “appreciates” China’s plan, in which it sees a “sincere” disposition to achieve peace, in particular because they agree on aspects such as the end of international sanctions or the demand for certain guarantees of security.
The spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zajarova, assured that Moscow is willing to achieve “through political and diplomatic means” the “objectives” that President Vladimir Putin set for himself a year ago when he announced the start of the “operation special military”, name with which the Kremlin designates the invasion.
For Russia, this involves the cessation of the shipment of Western weapons to the Ukrainian forces, the recognition of the “new territorial realities” and the “free self-determination” of the peoples, the “denazification” of Ukraine or respect for the minority , in other aspects.
The UN also analyzed that Beijing’s proposal constitutes an “important contribution”, especially in the call not to use nuclear weapons.
“I think that the plan presented by the Chinese government is an important contribution. I think that the call for the need to avoid the use of nuclear weapons is particularly important.”said the spokesman for Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Stephane Dujarric, highlighting the “collective responsibility” to achieve “a just peace”, as the General Assembly requested yesterday by an overwhelming majority.
Earlier, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg expressed skepticism about the plan, saying China “doesn’t have a lot of credibility” in this conflict.
In tune, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that the document represents a series of “principles”, more than a peace plan, which must be studied considering “the backdrop that China took a position signing an unlimited friendship agreement with Russia just before the invasion.”
That same argument was used by US authorities to criticize Beijing’s proposal.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivanindicated that Washington is watching “closely” the movements of the Asian giant, which, according to what he said, could be preparing to “deliver lethal weapons to Russia.”
China tried to position itself as a neutral party in this conflict (yesterday it refrained from demanding the “immediate withdrawal” of Russian troops in the vote that took place in the General Assembly), although it maintains its ties with its strategic ally in Moscow.
The head of his diplomacy, Wang Yi, met last week in Berlin with his American counterpart, Antony Blinken, and then traveled to the Russian capital to talk with Putin and his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov.
In parallel, the leaders of the G7 (the seven most industrialized countries in the world) held a virtual summit today – with Japan as host – to emphasize their support for Kiev and their intention to continue applying sanctions on Moscow.
Zelenski participated in the meeting, before whom they remembered their “unwavering support for Ukraine for as long as it takes”.
The Security Council also met at the UN, an occasion used by Guterres to describe that around 17.6 million people – close to 40% of the population of Ukraine – need humanitarian assistance, while there was an exodus of eight million people who took refuge in the rest of Europe, in what is the “biggest displacement crisis” in decades.
Guterres also lamented the destruction of “essential infrastructure” in the “depths of the freezing winter” boreal, such as the supply of water, energy and heating and more than 3,000 schools, “seriously” disrupting the education of millions of students.
But Ukraine is not the only one: “The Russian Federation also suffers the lethal consequences”stressed the Portuguese, quoted by the AFP news agency.
For his part, during his speech, the Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, affirmed that the spirit of the Ukrainians “remains immutable” and “unbreakable” despite the “atrocities” committed by Russia, and emphasized the importance of staying together with Kiev.
In this sense, Blinken rejected the idea of ”taking another territory by force, erasing the borders of another country and placing civilians as a military objective in the context of a conflict.”
At this same meeting, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vasili Nebenzia, drew attention when he interrupted the minute’s silence for the victims of the invasion, to point out that it is not only necessary to honor the Ukrainian victims of the conflict.
“We are going to stand up for all of them. All the victims of what has been happening in Ukraine since 2014, all those who have perished. The value of those lives is incalculable and that is why we are going to honor them all”asserted
While the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, stressed that the goal of the Ukrainian forces is “to expel Russian troops and make the world a safer place.”
The ministerial meeting in the Security Council is symbolic, since the veto of Russia, one of the five permanent members of the forum, prevents the approval of any decision on Ukraine contrary to the interests of Moscow.