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Dutch defense minister: Chinese diplomat's view on Ukraine 'very, very false'

by Alexander Khrebet June 3, 2023 7:56 PM 2 min read
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In an interview with Politico on June 3, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren dismissed a Chinese diplomat's claim that Russia’s war against Ukraine was caused by the so-called failure of Europe's security architecture.

Earlier, Cui Tiankai, a former Chinese envoy to the U.S., claimed that Europe has displayed little success in ensuring its security, attributing Russia's war to this.

“We used to look to Europe, for their experience in regional integration. But nowadays, maybe people in Europe instead could look to us,” Cui said. “We don’t impose our ways on you, but maybe you can learn something useful from our experience, from our success."

"I don't want to use the word 'failure,' (so) a lack of success," Cui, who was sat near Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.

“I was actually a little bit surprised to hear it,” Ollongren said, after dismissing Cui's claim at a panel in Singapore. “It’s very, very false.”

Ollongren said that Europe can not be blamed for Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“There was a suggestion by the ambassador (Cui) that Europe has not succeeded in managing its security very well because of the war in Ukraine. Of course, I understand there’s a war in Ukraine — but I think it’s not the result of mismanaging our security situation in Europe. It’s the result of not respecting the way we want to manage security in Europe,” Ollongren said, adding that she waits for Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu to spell out the official position.

Western officials questioned Beijing’s capability to serve as an effective mediator to end Russia’s war against Ukraine due to China’s close ties with Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported on May 26.

According to the report, Ukrainian and NATO officials pushed back against China's calls for an "immediate" ceasefire in Ukraine during the European tour of Chinese Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui.

Li, the China envoy, visited Ukraine on May 16-17. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba conveyed to Li that Ukraine wouldn't accept any peace proposal that entertained the idea of territorial surrender or freezing of the war.

Li previously served as an ambassador to Moscow.

On the one-year anniversary of the invasion, China revealed its 12-point “peace plan,” drawing criticism from Ukraine's allies as it failed to explicitly demand the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

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