Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently had a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which is their first known communication since Russia invaded Ukraine last year. The hour-long call was described as “productive” by Kyiv’s official readout and is expected to pave the way for possible interaction between Ukraine and China towards achieving a just and sustainable peace.
President Zelensky expressed his views on the bilateral dialogue between Beijing and Moscow and reiterated that there could be no peace agreement that includes territorial compromises. He also urged countries to avoid supplying weapons to Russia as any kind of support would be used by Russia to continue its aggression and reject peace.
Ukrainian President Zelensky:
I had a long and meaningful phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping. I believe that this call, as well as the appointment of Ukraine's ambassador to China, will give a powerful impetus to the development of our bilateral relations. pic.twitter.com/gb5rpRL2q5
— Clash Report (@clashreport) April 26, 2023
On the other hand, China’s Foreign Ministry announced that a former ambassador to Russia would serve as an envoy to visit Ukraine in hopes of seeking a political settlement. Beijing has maintained that it will not supply weapons to either side, and its central position is facilitating peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.
Despite Kyiv’s insistence that no territory be ceded to Russia, the Foreign Ministry emphasized the “political foundation” of relations between China and Ukraine is “mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.” The ministry further stated that Beijing will work with Kyiv “to advance mutually beneficial cooperation,” regardless of how the international situation evolves.
President Zelensky appeared upbeat after the phone call, and he believes that the call, along with the appointment of a Ukrainian ambassador to China, will strengthen bilateral relations between Kyiv and Beijing. He expressed optimism that this new dialogue will lead to a possible interaction between Ukraine and China towards achieving a just and sustainable peace.