Zelenskyy and Xi Jinping in first conversation since Russian invasion

26 April, 08:33 PM
Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:Office of the President)

Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:Office of the President)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had his first conversation with Chinese leader Xi Jinping since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion, Zelenskyy announced via Twitter on April 26.

The Ukrainian president described the phone call as “long and substantive.”

“I trust it (the conversation) and appointing a new ambassador to China will be an impetus to the development of our bilateral relations,” said Zelenskyy.

On the same day, he appointed former Minister for Strategic Industry, Pavlo Ryabikin, as Ukraine’s new Ambassador to China.

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The talk also encompassed Sino-Ukrainian economic and trade ties.

“Prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion, China was Ukraine’s number one trading partner,” a subsequent message on the president’s website quotes Zelenskyy.

“I trust today’s conversation will provide a substantial boost to restoring, maintaining, and developing this dynamic across all levels.”

According to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs' spokesperson Hua Chunying, Ukraine requested the conversation. China plans to send a government envoy to deepen communication around the political settlement of the Russian war, which Beijing refers to as the "Ukrainian crisis." The ministry reiterated China's position of "always standing on the side of peace" and its willingness to develop bilateral relations with Ukraine.

"Dialogue and negotiations are the only viable way forward," Chunying emphasized via Twitter.

On Feb. 24, China published a document outlining its position on the "settlement" of Russia's war against Ukraine, including a call for a ceasefire and negotiations, but not a withdrawal of Russian troops.

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