Ukraine not threatened by closer Moscow-Beijing ties says Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba
A recent joint declaration signed by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping has not increased the risk of a further Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on a talk show on Ukrainian television channel ICTV on Feb. 7.
According to him, Moscow and Beijing have long been aligned on foreign policy.
“The Sino-Russian rapprochement is hardly news – it occurred a while ago,” Kuleba said.
This joint declaration, coined a “no limits partnership” by the Russian and Chinese leaders, includes Chinese support for Russia’s demand to ban Ukraine from joining NATO.
“I have no doubt that Russia insisted on including the subject of NATO (in the declaration); but let’s not forget that China has its own trade interests in Ukraine, and for now we don’t see a reason to suppose that China would somehow facilitate Russian aggression against Ukraine,” Kuleba said.
The minister described the declaration as a “diplomatic gesture, made for Russia’s benefit.”
Earlier, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink suggested that the meeting between Putin and Xi could have nudged Russia towards de-escalation.
According to U.S. news outlet Bloomberg, Xi may have asked Putin to refrain from launching a major offensive against Ukraine during the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
A recent statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry urges “all countries to observe the Olympic truce and stop hostile activities seven days before the Winter Olympic Games through to seven days after the end of the Winter Paralympic Games,” which is approximately from Jan. 28 to Mar. 30.
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