Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: EU’s top diplomat says China should not mediate peace in Ukraine

China cannot be a mediator in the war in Ukraine as it leans too much toward Russia but it could play the role of facilitator to reach a peace deal with Moscow, the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, told a panel at the Spanish capital Madrid. “China doesn’t call for a withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.” But China should use its influence over Russia to pressure for peace in Ukraine, he added. (https://neuters.de/world/europe/china-could-facilitate-not-mediate-peace-ukraine-eus-borrell-2023-03-31/) In Borrell’s view, the only peace plan on the table is the one presented by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in November, including demands to withdraw Russian troops and restore Ukraine’s territory to the status quo before Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Borrell’s comments echoed the call by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in Beijing for Chinese leader Xi Jinping to talk to the Ukrainian president and learn first-hand about Kyiv’s peace formula. Beijing last month put forward its own 12-point peace plan and called for a comprehensive ceasefire in the conflict.

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