War in Ukraine: Russia and China say they want to avoid a new “escalation” of the conflict

Russia and China assured Thursday, May 16, that they wanted to avoid any further “escalation” in Ukraine, alluding to Western responsibility, according to a joint statement published by the Kremlin after the meeting in Beijing between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping

War in Ukraine: Russia and China say they want to avoid a new “escalation” of the conflict

Russia and China assured Thursday, May 16, that they wanted to avoid any further “escalation” in Ukraine, alluding to Western responsibility, according to a joint statement published by the Kremlin after the meeting in Beijing between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. .

The text says that Beijing and Moscow consider it "necessary" to avoid any decision likely to "contribute to the prolongation of hostilities and a further escalation of the conflict", a formulation seeming to target Europeans and Americans, with the Kremlin constantly saying that it is the arms deliveries from the West to Ukraine that are prolonging the war.

The joint press release, which uses vocabulary dear to Vladimir Putin, also considers that a "sustainable settlement of the Ukrainian crisis" requires respect for the "principle of the indivisibility of security", a concept used by the Kremlin to justify its invasion by asserting that the rapprochement between kyiv and the West represented a threat to Moscow and that Ukraine’s security could not be achieved at the expense of Russia’s.

Beijing and Moscow also spoke of the importance of “dialogue” regarding the settlement of this war. Russia has said it is ready for talks only if Ukraine cedes the five regions it claims and occupies.

Beijing has never condemned the Russian invasion

The Russian president said he was “grateful” to China for its peace “initiatives” regarding the conflict in Ukraine, which the Russian army invaded more than two years ago. Beijing, which has never condemned Russia, calls for respect for the territorial integrity of all countries, including Ukraine, while urging consideration of the concerns of its Russian ally.

The West, allies of kyiv, would like to see China use its influence on Russia to put an end to its invasion launched in February 2022 and which Moscow presents as a war with the West.

The Russian president also recalled that Moscow and Beijing were opposed to any “closed” political and military alliance in the Asia-Pacific region, a remark directly aimed at the United States, in competition with Beijing in the area and which there cooperates with Australia and the United Kingdom (under the English acronym Aukus) to counter Chinese influence. “We think it is very harmful and counterproductive to create such alliances,” denounced Mr. Putin to journalists.