Ukraine: President Volodymyr Zelensky makes foot calls to China
Volodymyr Zelensky at a press conference, February 21, 2023. AFP - GENYA SAVILOV
Text by: RFI Follow
At the end of the second day of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky finally spoke, as the international community closely scrutinizes Beijing's diplomatic initiatives and its stance vis-à-vis the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
With our correspondent in Ukraine, Stéphane Siohan
Volodymyr Zelensky's phone line is very crowded, and for good reason, he speaks almost every day with a number of heads of state or international leaders.
However, the link between Kiev and Beijing leaves something to be desired, and for good reason, the head of the Ukrainian state at war and Xi Jinping have never spoken at the end of the phone since the beginning of the Russian invasion.
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Shortly after the first joint statement by the Russian and Ukrainian presidents on Tuesday, Zelensky said he in turn invited China to dialogue. Even if for the moment, the signals do not necessarily go in this direction. He added that he was waiting for a response to his invitation.
We have proposed to China to become a partner in the search for a settlement of the conflict in Ukraine. ", said the Ukrainian president, who adds that he receives signals, but not concrete proposals.
In reality, the Kiev authorities are seeking to establish a communication channel in order to avoid the scenario that everyone fears: that China decides to deliver weapons to Russian forces.
On Monday, shortly after Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow, a spokesman for Ukrainian military intelligence said that according to Kiev, there were no Chinese weapons deployed in Ukraine, except for commercially available chips. A way of procrastinating and saying that it would be nice if it left it at that...
At this point, Ukrainian hopes are focused on Moscow's weakening in the China-Russia strategic duo, and on discreet pressure from Beijing to push the Kremlin to let go.
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- Volodymyr Zelensky