The Ukrainian and Russian delegations on Friday continue talks on establishing peace through a video conference, one of the Ukrainian negotiators, an adviser to the head of the presidential office, Mykhailo Podoljak, told the Ukrainian newspaper. The beginning of the next round of negotiations in the meantime on the social network confirmed the head of the Russian delegation Vladimir Medinskywho stressed that Russia’s position on Crimea and Donbas does not change.
Von der Leyen and Michel, along with EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, have held talks with Chinese Prime Minister Li Kichiang and President Xi Jinping.
Beijing is critical of EU statements strongly condemning Russia’s aggression and stressing that Russia is trying to prevent a humanitarian crisis, which the West has a markedly different view. “We are trying to reassure that China does not intend in any way to save or otherwise support Russia economically in this war,” a senior EU official told reporters before the talks.
At a briefing after the virtual summit, Michel said that the EU and China had agreed that the conflict threatened global security. At the same time, EU officials warned China against helping the Russian side during the talks. “Any attempt to circumvent sanctions or provide aid to Russia would prolong the war. That would lead to further loss of life and greater economic impact, “said Michel.
“We will also remain vigilant against any attempt at financial or military assistance to Russia. However, China’s positive steps to help end the war would be welcomed by all Europeans and the world community, “Michel added. “We have made it clear that China, if not directly involved, should at least do everything in its power not to disturb them,” said the head of the EU executive.
Cooperation and limits
In public statements about the invasion, China tends to take the Russian side, although it has not yet resorted to direct military or financial support. According to CT correspondent Barbora Shamalova in Asia, the Chinese media, for example, are completely taking over the propaganda of the Russian state media.
“Recently, the trend of denigrating the US, which China blames for what is happening in Ukraine, is intensifying. He also accuses the American media of worsening the situation and is trying to divide Ukraine and Russia. At the same time, they are said to be trying to plant a wedge in the Sino-Russian alliance, “she said.
Shortly before the attack on Ukraine began, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed with the Chinese leader to strengthen cooperation. However, Shamalova has previously stated that China also has ties with Ukraine, and after the slow progress of Russian troops in the occupied territories, relations between Beijing and Moscow have cooled slightly. For example, Chinese officials have said that cooperation between countries has its limits.
According to Shamal, it is also unlikely that China will take the position of a neutral country that seeks to mediate negotiations. “It has minimal experience in resolving geopolitical crises, and if the negotiations happened to fail, China would lose face. Which he will not want to allow, “said the rapporteur.
No major outcome was expected from the video conference. The talks were also to cover longer-term issues, such as mutual trade or the coordination of climate-responsible policy. In recent years, the EU has become more critical of China over violations of the rights of the Uighur minority, restrictions on Hong Kong’s freedoms and Chinese threats to Taiwan. Last year, the two sides imposed sanctions on each other’s officials, and the EU froze ratification of the investment agreement reached last year.
Some diplomats feared that the EU’s efforts to force Beijing to change its minds could lead to a further deterioration of Brussels’ already tense relations with Beijing.
Ukraine shows greater understanding, Lavrov said in India
During his visit to India, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov also addressed the conflict in Ukraine. He said that negotiations between Russia and Ukraine had made progress and must continue. According to him, Kyiv showed a “significantly greater understanding” of the situation in Crimea and the Donbas and the need for neutrality in Ukraine.
The last round of talks between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations took place on Tuesday in Turkey. According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Ukraine has agreed to remain neutral and not join NATO. Following the talks, Russia said it would significantly reduce its military activities around Kiev and Chernihiv, citing efforts to improve mutual trust and create the conditions for an agreement with Ukraine. According to the US Department of Defense, however, Moscow only moved troops to other fronts and withdrew others to regroup.
The Russian chief diplomacy arrived in India from China. Like Beijing, Delhi has not yet heard requests from the West to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Lavrov on Friday in India highlighted the friendly relations between the two countries. “Our Western colleagues these days want to reduce important international issues to the crisis in Ukraine. I appreciate that India looks at the situation comprehensively, “said Lavrov.
Delhi has long had close relations with Moscow and much of its military equipment comes from Russia, so India is dependent on Moscow for military spare parts, for example. Recently, India has also bought Russian oil at a discount.