Xi visiting Putin: Ukraine’s view of the China visit

Status: 03/21/2023 11:24 am

China’s head of state Xi is visiting ally Putin for three days. The Ukrainians don’t expect that the meeting could contribute to the long-awaited peace – but they are hardly worried about arms deliveries either.

By Rebecca Barth, ARD Studio Kiev, currently in Berlin

They want peace and rebuild their homes. But most of the people in Lyman have had to live in their basements for months. The city in eastern Ukraine is repeatedly shelled, even though it was recaptured by the Ukrainian army last fall.

”We were promised that everything would be rebuilt after the war. But when will the war be over and everything rebuilt? I don’t know,” says Yuri from Lyman.

People in Ukraine are skeptical about whether Xi Jinping’s three-day visit to Moscow can contribute to a possible peace process. Nonetheless, Beijing is expected to work with Moscow to end the war, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Kuleba: “Every war ends at the negotiating table”

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also said he was willing to negotiate in an interview with the BBC a few days ago. Every war ends at the negotiating table, he said. “But my goal as foreign minister is to ensure that Ukraine reaches the table after a decisive success on the battlefield,” Kuleba said. “We have to win and we will win. The only question is the schedule and the price we will pay for it.”

Ukraine welcomes China’s 12-point plan

At the end of February, China published a twelve-point plan to end the war. Ukraine welcomes the initiative. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in February that he wanted to believe that Beijing was interested in a just peace. But that also includes not supplying weapons to Russia.

According to China, it doesn’t do that either. But according to research, Chinese companies are said to have supplied rifles, protective equipment and drone parts to Russia.

Could China supply Russia with weapons?

“I don’t think China has reached the moment now where it is ready to arm Russia, nor do I think this visit will lead to peace,” Kuleba said.

The Chinese twelve-point plan is too far removed from its own proposals for ending the war. And many people in Kiev are relaxed about concerns about possible arms deliveries from China.

Family man Denis Sotnikov does not believe that China’s support for Russia will increase after the three-day meeting. At least China doesn’t want to openly support Russia, he believes. “Because most people think that the Chinese are smarter. And open support will not do them any good. There may be hidden deals, but they don’t want to openly side with Russia.”

Should China nevertheless supply arms to Russia, it would take part in the war on the side of the aggressor, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov told Ukrainian television. President Zelenskyy did not comment on the meeting in Moscow on Monday.

Xi Jinping in Moscow: Ukrainian expectations of the visit

Rebecca Barth, ARD Kiev, currently Berlin, March 21, 2023 09:12 a.m

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