Blinken slams Xi for providing ‘diplomatic cover’ to Putin during Moscow visit

·2 min read

Secretary of State Antony Blinken called out Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday for providing “diplomatic cover” to Russian leader Vladimir Putin amid the Kremlin’s ongoing war with neighboring Ukraine.

Speaking at a press briefing, Blinken said the U.S expects that China may use Xi’s Moscow visit to reiterate calls for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine.

“The fundamental element of any plan for ending the war in Ukraine and producing a just and durable peace must be upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, in accordance with the United Nations Charter,” he said.

“Any plan that does not prioritize this critical principle is a stalling tactic at best or is merely seeking to facilitate an unjust outcome. That is not constructive diplomacy.”

Blinken added if China is truly committed to supporting a ceasefire between the two countries, it should engage in peace talks with Ukraine and its leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, adding Russia has no genuine interest in a peace agreement.

“That President Xi is traveling to Russia days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President Putin suggests that China feels no responsibility to hold the Kremlin accountable for the atrocities committed in Ukraine, and instead of even condemning them, it would rather provide diplomatic cover for Russia to continue to commit those very crimes,” the top U.S. diplomat added in his press briefing.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday issued warrants for Putin and another Russia official on accusations for war crimes amid Moscow’s more-than-yearlong invasion of its smaller neighbor.

President Biden called the warrants “justified,” saying Putin had “clearly committed war crimes.”

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that the ICC should “uphold an objective and impartial stance, respect the jurisdictional immunity enjoyed by the head of state in accordance” and “avoid politicization and double standards.”

The U.S. and other world entities have expressed concern that China might move to arm Russia in its war against Ukraine.

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