Volodymyr Zelensky accuses Putin and China of plotting to derail Ukraine peace summit

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun18,2024

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky has accused China and Russia of plotting to disrupt an upcoming global peace conference by forcing nations not to attend.

The Swiss-based conference is due to take place on June 15 and 16 to discuss the ongoing war in Ukraine which has been raging since February 2022 when Russia mounted an illegal invasion.

Despite initially forcing back the Kremlin’s attack on the captial Kyiv, Ukraine has since been mired in a bloody war of attrition with Vladimir Putin‘s forces along a vast frontline in the east of the country.

Speaking at Asia’s premier security conference in Singapore this weekend, Zelensky claimed China is pressuring other countries and their leaders not to attend the upcoming talks.

He claimed: “Russia, using Chinese influence in the region, using Chinese diplomats also, does everything to disrupt the peace summit. Regrettably this is unfortunate that such a big independent powerful country as China is an instrument in the hands of Putin.”

China has previously staked out what it says is a neutral position on Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine, putting it at odds with the UK, United States and most of Europe.

Its trade with Russia has grown, easing the economic impact of Western sanctions. And British, American, Ukrainian and other intelligence agencies say there is evidence that Chinese parts are winding up in Russian weaponry, even if China is not directly arming its neighbor.

The Swiss had been hoping China would attend the peace conference in mid-June, but Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning signaled on Friday that that was unlikely. China has been calling for a peace conference with equal participation of all sides, including Russia, which has not been invited.

Mr Ning said: “There is still a clear gap between the arrangements for the meeting and the demands of the Chinese side, as well as the general expectations of the international community, this makes it difficult for China to participate in the meeting.”

Zelensky said China’s pressure on others was a “support to Russia” and “basically support of war”. China has yet to respond to Zelensky’s comments directly.

The Ukrainian leader added that Ukraine had proposals to make at the summit as a basis for peace, addressing nuclear security, food security, the release of prisoners of war and the return of Ukrainian children abducted by Russia.

Speaking at a conference in Singapore this weekend, he said: “Time is running out, and the children are growing up in the Putin-land where they are taught to hate their homeland.”

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin sat in the front row as President Zelensky delivered his speech, and the two met on the sidelines of the conference.

Secretary Austin said: “We’ve all been inspired by the courage of Ukraine‘s troops and the resilience of Ukraine‘s people.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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