Ukrainian foreign minister discusses peace prospects with Chinese counterpart

By Thomson Reuters Feb 17, 2024 | 5:51 PM

(Reuters) – Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Saturday he had discussed the prospects for peace in Kyiv’s nearly two-year-old war against Russia with his Chinese counterpart, part of a long-running bid to bolster relations with Beijing.

“I met with my Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to discuss bilateral relations, trade, and the need to restore a just and lasting peace in Ukraine,” Kuleba wrote on X, formerly Twitter, of their talks at the Munich Security Conference.

Kuleba said he had discussed Ukraine’s plans to hold a global peace summit which Switzerland has agreed to help stage. The two men, he said, “agreed on the need to maintain Ukraine-China contacts at all levels and continue our dialogue”.

China has attended at least one of the preparatory meetings that have taken place in anticipation of such a summit.

Ukraine has sought to enhance ties with Beijing and bring China onside for Kyiv’s 10-point peace plan which focuses on a withdrawal of Russian troops from occupied territory, the restoration of 1991 post-Soviet borders and a framework to bring Moscow to account for its actions.

China, which has been pursing a “strategic partnership” with Russia, proposed a peace plan of its own last year calling for a ceasefire, negotiations and an end to sanctions against Russia. But the plan made little headway.

Ukraine has also made efforts to enlist the support for its diplomatic campaign from nations in Africa and elsewhere in the Global South, where Russia benefits from longstanding ties dating back to the Soviet era.

(Reporting by Ron Popeski; Editing by Alistair Bell)