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Finnish president urges China to convince Russia to end war in Ukraine

by Kateryna Hodunova and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 16, 2024 2:38 PM 2 min read
Alexander Stubb, president-elect of Finland, at Munich Security Conference 2024 on Feb. 18, 2024. (Olena Zashko / The Kyiv Independent)
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Finnish President Alexander Stubb called on Beijing to use its influence over Russian President Vladimir Putin to help end the war in Ukraine, reported Finnish media outlet Yle on June 15.

Although China officially maintains a neutral stance on Russia's full-scale war in Ukraine and denies providing lethal aid, Beijing and Moscow continue to strengthen their ties. This was underscored by Putin's visit to Chinese President Xi Jinping in May.

Speaking at the Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland, Stubb said that China could play a key role in establishing peace in Ukraine.

"I strongly urge China, in its capacity to influence Putin, to end this war," Stubb said.

He also emphasized the importance of the Global South in achieving peace in Ukraine: "There are many representatives (at the peace summit) from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and especially the Middle East. This gives me hope that we will be able to get on the path to peace, and I believe it is important that this happens on Ukraine's terms."

Officials from over 100 foreign governments and international organizations gathered in Lucerne, Switzerland, for a two-day summit focused on Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky's peace formula, a 10-point plan outlining Kyiv's conditions for an end to Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine.

Ukraine had extended an invitation to China for the summit back in January, but Beijing declined, citing unmet conditions necessary for its participation. Russia, notably, was not invited to the conference.

Following China's decision to abstain, Zelensky accused China of actively dissuading other nations from attending the summit.

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said later that Beijing likely opted out of Ukraine's peace summit at the request of Putin.

China lobbying for its alternative peace plan ahead of Ukraine’s summit, Reuters reports
Ten diplomats confirmed China’s efforts to lobby for its plan, while one of them called China’s campaign a “subtle boycott” of the summit.

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