Photo credit: United Nations Photo via Flickr

Belarus President & top Putin ally meets Xi Jinping in Beijing

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has said he “fully supports” China’s plan for peace in Ukraine, following a trip to Beijing on Wednesday.

Last week China published a 12-point document calling for a ceasefire between the two belligerent countries, arguing that “Dialogue and negotiations are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis.” The document urges that respect must be shown toi “the sovereignty of all countries.”

However, it does not specifically call for Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine, and it condemns Western sanctions.

Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said that he agreed with some parts of the plan, and said he was glad that China was willing to engage constructively. However, China has not responded to Zelensky’s request for a peace summit.

Visiting Chinese leader Xi Jinping this week, Lukashenko expressed his “extreme interest” in the plan, describing Xi as an “old friend.”

Lukashenko, who describes himself as “the last and only dictator in Europe,” is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. While Belarus has not directly participated in the Ukraine war, it has allowed Russia to launch attacks from its territory, providing the Russian military with the shortest possible land route to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.

Lukashenko has said there is “no way” he would invade Ukraine unless Belarus was attacked first.

However, following this week’s meeting, both China and Belarus “expressed deep concern” about the ongoing war, and “extreme interest in the soonest possible establishment of peace in Ukraine.”

Lukashenko said he “fully supports the initiative on international security [China] have put forward.” He added that all further decisions in the war “should be aimed at first and foremost preventing a slide into a global confrontation that will see no winners.”

China’s Xi reportedly called for an end to “all Cold War mentality,” and called on countries to “stop politicising” the world economy. He said that all parties should “do things that will aid a ceasefire, cessation of war, and a peaceful resolution.”

Last China sent its top diplomat, Wang Yi, to meet with Vladimir Putin in the Russian capital of Moscow, while Chinese leader Xi Jinping is reportedly planning a trip to Russia for later in the year to meet with Putin.

The stated purpose of these meetings has reportedly been an attempt by China to broker a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine.

During his visit last week, Wang Yi said that “this warfare must not continue,” with Chinese officials repeatedly expressing concern over Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons.

However, media reports have claimed that China is in talks with Russia about potentially sending combat drones to Moscow – claims which Beijing has denied.




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