Volodymyr Zelensky accuses Russia and China of undermining peace summit

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia and China of trying to undermine his upcoming global peace summit in Switzerland.

He said Russia was trying to dissuade other states from attending the event and that China was also working to achieve this.

Speaking at an Asian security forum, he also said there were “elements of Russia’s weaponry” that come from China.

China says it does not side with either side in the Ukraine war, a position that has been increasingly questioned, especially by the United States.

Beijing is accused of helping Moscow by sending it weapons components. It is also seen as propping up the Russian economy by purchasing large quantities of oil and gas, softening the impact of Western sanctions.

Zelensky made a surprise appearance at the Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore attended by defense chiefs from around the world, including US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun.

The visit was aimed at gaining the support of Asian countries. In addition to meeting regional leaders, he also urged delegates to attend the summit in late June.

Zelensky said he would focus on achieving nuclear security, food security and the release of Ukrainian prisoners of war and children detained in Russia.

So far, 106 countries have said they would send high-level representatives or their leaders to the summit, he said.

Russia has not been invited and China will not attend.

No formal invitation was sent to Russia, as Moscow had told Switzerland from the beginning that it did not want to participate, the BBC understands.

Zelensky claimed that Russia was trying to disrupt the summit by pressuring countries not to attend, through threats of a blockade of agricultural products, chemicals and energy.

Certain countries were contributing to this “diplomatic disruption,” he added.

He later named China and said it was “working to keep countries from attending the peace summit,” unlike the United States, which has promised to send a high-level representative and is encouraging others to attend.

China’s Foreign Ministry had said the conference “should have the recognition of Russia and Ukraine” and equal participation. “Otherwise, it is difficult for the conference to play a substantial role in restoring peace,” a spokeswoman said Friday.

Zelensky also said that China’s leader Xi Jinping had previously promised him that they would “stay out of this war and not support Russia with weapons.”

But, he added, there are now “elements that are part of Russia’s weapons” that come from China, according to several intelligence agencies. She called on China to maintain a “consistent” position.

The United States has said China is helping Russia make more munitions, armored vehicles and missiles. It is estimated that around 70% of the machine tools and 90% of the microelectronics that Russia imports come from China.

Earlier on Sunday, Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun said they do not supply weapons to any party to the Ukraine conflict.

He also said they have put “strict controls” on exports of dual-use technology, which are items that can be used for civilian and military purposes.

“We have never done anything to fan the flames. We are firmly on the side of peace and dialogue,” he said in his speech.

Zelensky said he did not meet with Dong at the dialogue, but he did meet with Austin. The two discussed the United States’ decision to allow Ukraine to use American weapons on Russian territory, according to Zelensky.

That decision comes with certain restrictions. Asked by the BBC if he had requested the removal of the limitations, he said he was grateful to the United States for allowing Ukraine to use the HIMARS artillery rocket system on the border in the Kharkiv region, which has seen heavy fighting.

“Is that enough? No,” she said, adding that there were airfields from which Russia was constantly firing “knowing that Ukraine will not respond.”

The United States joins other Western states such as France in allowing Ukraine more leeway in the use of Western-supplied weapons. Russia has warned of the “serious consequences” of this measure.

This weekend was the second time Zelensky visited Asia since the war began. He made a surprise appearance at the G7 leaders’ summit a year ago in Hiroshima, Japan.

Leave a Comment