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‘Using the UN Security Council to debate the standoff on the border between Russia and Ukraine is inappropriate, and consultations would be better held in a different setting,’ China’s envoy has said as tensions flare in Eastern Europe.
Speaking on Monday at a meeting of the UN’s top security body, requested by the US, Beijing’s permanent representative Zhang Jun said that discussing the situation at an open assembly does not contribute to reducing tensions.
‘Russia has repeatedly stated (and proved) that it has no plans to launch any military action. And Ukraine has made it clear that it does not need a war,’ the ambassador added. ‘Under such circumstances, what is the basis for the countries concerned to insist that there would be a war?’
‘With fears that Russia’s armed forces could begin pouring over the border into Ukraine hitting a fever pitch in recent weeks, the country’s economy is feeling the strain of the frenzy whipped up by Western leaders and media outlets,’ Kiev’s most senior diplomat has claimed.
In an interview with Vice World News that aired on Saturday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said that, while Moscow hasn’t yet ordered an invasion, Ukraine was ’already suffering economically and becoming] weaker because of the panic spread into society.’
Russia’s concerns about safety on the European continent cannot be pushed aside by the US, China has warned, amid a tense stand-off between Washington and Moscow. In a telephone call on Thursday, Beijing’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered US Secretary of State Antony Blinken advice on how to calm growing tensions in the region.
‘Today, in the 21st century, all parties must completely abandon the Cold War mentality and form a balanced, effective and sustainable negotiated European security mechanism,’ he told Blinken, according to the ministry’s official website.
Wang added that ‘Russia’s legitimate security concerns must be taken seriously and addressed. Regional security cannot be ensured by strengthening and expanding military blocs. The security of one country cannot be achieved at the expense of another,’ he said. The foreign minister also reiterated China’s calls for all sides to refrain from actions that could further inflame tensions.
The remarks come shortly after Washington responded and rejected Moscow’s proposals. Speaking on Wednesday, the head of the US-led military bloc, Jens Stoltenberg, said NATO ‘will not compromise’ on potential expansion into Ukraine, Georgia, and other former Soviet republics, as this clashes with its ’core principles.’
Earlier in December, the aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Yuri Ushakov, said Chinese leader Xi Jinping is fully supportive of Moscow’s attempt to gain assurances from NATO, a notable revelation given that Beijing has previously sought to distance itself from its neighbour’s problems in dealing with other European states.
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‘Since the chairman [Xi] specifically stated that he supports Russia’s demands for guarantees, he is naturally well aware of and understands the main issue: the concerns Russia has on its western borders,’ Ushakov said following talks via video-link between the two sides. ’We will keep our Chinese counterparts informed of how negotiations and contacts on this matter will unfold with our American and NATO partners.’ You can share this story on social media.
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