China offers to mediate in Ukraine

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba asked his Chinese counterpart in a phone call on Tuesday to use Beijing’s ties with Moscow to stop Russia’s military action on its territory, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said in a statement.

According to the statement, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Kuleba that Beijing was ready to make every effort to help end the war through diplomacy.

China, which has grown closer with Moscow in recent years while it has also had cordial diplomatic ties and strong trade links with Ukraine, has refused to condemn Russia’s attack on the country.

The call between the two is the first to have been reported since Russia’s attack on its neighbour last Thursday. It was initiated by Kuleba, according to China’s foreign ministry.

Wang repeated China’s call for a solution to the crisis through negotiations, saying it supported all international efforts that could help achieve a political resolution, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

China’s basic position on the Ukrainian crisis is open, transparent and consistent, said Wang, adding that it always stands for respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.

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Beijing supports all constructive international efforts conducive to a political settlement, said Wang.

However, he also said that China believes one country’s security cannot be at the expense of others’ security, and cannot be achieved by expanding military blocs.

In January, President Xi Jinping marked 30 years of ties with Ukraine, hailing the “deepening political mutual trust” between them.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” that it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists. (Reuters, additional reporting by Xinhua)

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