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CNN: French presidential source says China 'only game-changer' in Russia's war against Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 31, 2023 10:22 PM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photograph during their meeting in Beijing, on February 4, 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)
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China might be one of the only countries that could have a “game-changer effect" on Russia's war in Ukraine "for both sides," CNN reported citing an undisclosed source in France's presidential administration.

The statement comes ahead of French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visit to China scheduled for April 4. Western leaders have been urging Beijing to put pressure on Russia over the war in Ukraine.

According to a senior diplomat cited by Reuters, Macron wants to send a clear warning to his counterpart Xi Jinping that Europe will not accept China providing arms to Russia.

"Our message will be clear: There may be a temptation to get closer to Russia, but do not cross that line," the senior French diplomat reportedly said.

U.S. officials sounded the alarm in recent months that China is considering sending lethal aid to Russia for its war against Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and CIA Director Bill Burns have both publicly warned China against sending aid that could help Russia in Ukraine.

During a meeting with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Moscow and Beijing "share similar goals," CNN reported on March 20.

The Chinese leader also expressed support for Putin to be reelected in 2024. "I believe the Russian people will continue to strongly support you."

Xi arrived in Moscow on March 20 at Putin's invitation for his first state visit to Russia since the beginning of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

The Russian leader also said the Kremlin "carefully reviewed" China's 12-point "peace plan" released on the one-year anniversary of the full-scale invasion and expressed his readiness to discuss it with Xi.

Beijing's plan calls on all parties to respect the sovereignty of all nations, safeguard nuclear facilities, facilitate grain exports, and protect civilians and prisoners of war, but falls short of explicitly calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory.

However, the statement also urged abandoning "the Cold War mentality" and "stopping unilateral sanctions," rhetoric frequently used by Beijing to criticize the West's response to Russia's war.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said he did not consider China's proposal a peace plan, adding that the document included respect for international law, which already made it possible to work with China.

Zelensky also said he wanted to meet with China's Xi, which would "benefit our states and security in the world."

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