27 Feb 2023 10:39

China presents its peace plan for Ukraine

MOSCOW. Feb 27 (Interfax) - China presented a 12-point peace plan for a settlement in Ukraine on Friday.

Ukrainian media quoted the document published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry as saying that the first point is "respecting the sovereignty of all countries." "Universally recognized international law, including the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, must be strictly observed. The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld," the document reads.

"Abandoning the Cold War mentality. The security of a country should not be pursued at the expense of others. The security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs," the second clause of the document reads.

Ceasing hostilities is among other proposals made by China. "All parties should support Russia and Ukraine in working in the same direction and resuming direct dialogue as quickly as possible, so as to gradually deescalate the situation and ultimately reach a comprehensive ceasefire," the document said.

China also proposes resolving the humanitarian crisis, protecting civilians and prisoners of war, keeping nuclear power plants safe, reducing strategic risks (nuclear weapons are not allowed to be used and no nuclear wars could be waged), facilitating the grain exports, stopping unilateral sanctions, keeping industrial and supply chains stable, and promoting the post-conflict reconstruction.

The Chinese embassy in Kiev told Ukrainian media that the document is based on the "four necessities" proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, "four common positions", and the "three observations" on the crisis.

As the embassy noted, the "four general positions" are that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states should be respected, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be respected, the rational security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously, and all efforts should be supported to contribute to the peaceful resolution of the crisis.

"The four 'common positions' to be followed by the international community imply that the international community should support all efforts to promote a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Ukraine and call on the parties concerned to remain prudent, exercise restraint, and establish direct contacts as soon as possible and create conditions for renewal of negotiations; stand together against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, uphold the inadmissibility of the use of nuclear weapons and the conduct of nuclear wars, and prevent a nuclear crisis in Eurasia; work together to maintain the stability of global production and supply chains, and prevent the disruption of international cooperation in energy, food, financial and other fields in order to avoid harm to the recovery of the global economy, especially to the economic and financial stability of developing countries; make a collective effort to help the civilian population in the areas affected by the crisis, survive the winter and improve the humanitarian situation, preventing an even greater humanitarian crisis."

"The three observations" on the crisis are that there are no winners in conflicts, there are no easy solutions to complex problems, and the confrontation between great nations should be avoided.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said he believes that Ukraine should pay attention to China's peace plan.

"What can I say... The territorial integrity is in line there. I believe it contains respect to the territorial integrity. It mentions nuclear security. I believe it is really important. It is coincides with the interests of peace and our country. There are some items that are relatable to me. There are thoughts that I disagree with. I think the whole world disagrees with them. But nevertheless, it's already something. And I believe it would be right to think that if it already contains some thoughts which are in one way or another compatible with respect to international law, the territorial integrity, and some security-related things, I believe we should use it in a good way and work with China in the context of these provisions, why not," Ukrainian media outlets quoted Zelensky as saying at a press conference on Friday.

At the same time, he said that "it was not China's peace plan, it was not a resolution, not a declaration." He said he believes that China shared "its thoughts about it."

"I have already said repeatedly, it's not bad that China started talking about Ukraine. The question is what follows the words. Because we need to understand, words are words, everyone is saying something, but the question is in the steps. And, especially important, what they would lead to, what result they would give to us in the first place. Because China is talking about us," Zelensky said.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, for his part, elaborated that Kyiv disagrees with at least one item of China's peace plan.

"There are some elements we agree with, and there is at least one item we disagree with, it's the one dealing with sanctions. We are convinced that sanctions are an important instrument. But overall, it is an interesting document," Ukrainian media outlets quoted Kuleba as saying following a session of the United Nations Security Council on Friday.

The document should be "studied from the beginning to the end", and conclusions should be drawn from it, he said.