Zelenskyy sets condition for China's mediation in Russia's war against Ukraine

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy gives an interview to Chosun Ilbo European correspondent Chung Chul Hwan in his office in downtown Kyiv in May 2023

Zelenskyy gave Ukraine’s position in an interview with Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo published on May 30.

The Ukrainian leader said he believes that Beijing is strategically positioning itself as a neutral party between the West and Russia, carefully navigating between the two sides.

Read also: Ukraine rejects Chinese calls for immediate ceasefire

"It’s true that China does not directly support Ukraine's position," Zelenskyy said.

“Regarding China's own peace initiative, we have made it clear that we appreciate any efforts by other countries, but our own formula for peace, our initiative, is fundamental. Because this war began in Ukraine and continues here.”

Zelenskyy suggests that China can be useful in achieving peace if it takes a clear and unwavering position on the withdrawal of Russian troops from the entire territory of Ukraine.

The head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak on May 18 gave a briefing on the security situation in Ukraine to a Chinese government delegation during the visit of Chinese Special Representative Li Hui. Zelenskyy’s chief-of-staff highlighted that Ukraine is interested in China being involved in the implementation of the Ukrainian peace formula.

Zelenskyy on April 26 spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion.

Earlier, on Feb. 24, the first anniversary of the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs unveiled a "position paper" on resolving the war in Ukraine.

Read also: FM Kuleba denies China backs slicing up Ukraine in Russia’s favor

It consists of 12 points, including a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine, the resumption of peace talks, the end of "unilateral sanctions" against Russia, the functioning of the Black Sea grain corridor, safety at nuclear power plants, and reducing strategic risks related to nuclear weapons.

It made no call for the withdrawal of Russian invasion forces Ukrainian territory, the return of Ukrainian children abducted from Ukraine, the payment of reparations by Russia to Ukraine, or the handing over of Russian war crimes suspects for trial by the International Criminal Court.

At the same time, Deputy Head of the President’s Office, Ihor Zhovkva, affirmed Ukraine's willingness to consider all proposed peace initiatives from other nations, while emphasizing that only Ukraine's own formula can be implemented. The viewpoints of other states will also be considered if they align with Ukraine's interests, Zhovkva said.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine