China urges Europe to find common ground with Russia
The unresolved issue of pan-European security is at the core of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, and all European nations, including Russia, need to be involved in resolving it, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio on Thursday.
Wang and Di Maio discussed the Russian military campaign in Ukraine and how hostilities could be brought to an end as soon as possible during a video call. The Chinese official urged European nations to address Russian concerns. The continent needs a security architecture based on the principle of its indivisibility, the diplomat said. Only “in-depth and comprehensive discussions with the Russian side” would allow the arrangement to be “balanced, effective and sustainable,” he said.
The minister criticized the use of sanctions as a tool of coercion in international relations, saying the approach “cannot solve problems and will create new ones.” Punitive measures imposed against Russia for its attack against Ukraine “will have a serious impact on global finance, energy, food, transportation, supply chain and other aspects, and damage the world economic recovery and the people's livelihood of all countries,” he warned.
Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, claiming that NATO’s creeping expansion into the country posed an unacceptable threat to its national security. Western nations led by the US retaliated with an array of sanctions meant to cripple the Russian economy.
Attempts by Ukraine and Russia to negotiate a ceasefire have failed so far, with neither side apparently willing to compromise on its red lines.
Moscow attacked Kiev following a seven-year standoff over Ukraine's failure to implement the terms of the Minsk peace agreements, and Russia's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French-brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of the regions inside the Ukrainian state.