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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

As Xi travels to Russia, the US says no to a Chinese-led ceasefire in Ukraine

As Chinese President Xi Jinping prepared to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for the first time in weeks before war broke out in Ukraine, the White House has opposed any effort by Beijing to negotiate a ceasefire in the conflict.

China’s Foreign Ministry and the Kremlin on Friday confirmed reports that Xi will visit Russia Monday through Wednesday, with talks expected to cover the ongoing war in Ukraine. The visit follows a 12-point peace plan presented by China last month to mark the anniversary of the conflict, which emphasizes the need for a ceasefire, accompanied by talks and an end to sanctions against Moscow.

But just a week after China managed to negotiate a surprise deal for Middle East rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore ties, the National Security Council’s Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby argued that a such a cessation of hostilities would not be the positive development it might seem.

Such a move, Kirby said during a virtual press briefing on Friday, “would effectively recognize Russia’s achievements and its attempt to seize its neighbor’s territory by force and allow Russian troops to continue occupying sovereign Ukrainian territory, and of course it would be.” another continued violation of the UN Charter.”

He explained that a ceasefire would also serve as an opportunity for Russian troops “only to further entrench their positions in Ukraine” and “to rebuild, equip and refresh their forces to resume attacks on Ukraine at a time of their choosing.” be able to record”.

Asked by news week whether the US deviated from its stated policy of speaking up for Ukrainian interests, Kirby said that he “will not speak for President Zelenskyy or what he is willing to consider or not, he has been quite vocal lately that he it doesn’t support that.”

“But I will not speak for President Zelenskyi, I speak for us,” Kirby said.
And we do not currently support calls for a ceasefire. We certainly do not support calls for a ceasefire, which would be demanded by the PRC at a meeting in Moscow from which Russia would only benefit.

This is an evolving message. More information will be added as it becomes available.

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