Russia open to diplomatic solution in Ukraine, welcomes China’s stance: Putin

The Nation  |  Mar 20, 2023

Russia is ready to find a “political and diplomatic solution” to the Ukraine issue and appreciates China’s “well-balanced” view on the matter, according to President Vladimir Putin.

Moscow welcomes Beijing’s “readiness to make a meaningful contribution to the settlement of the crisis,” Putin said in an opinion piece published by Chinese newspaper People’s Daily on Sunday, a day ahead of President Xi Jinping’s high-profile visit to Moscow.

“Russia is open to the political and diplomatic resolution of the Ukraine crisis. It was not Russia who broke off the peace talks back in April 2022,” he said.

“The future of the peace process depends solely on the will to engage in a meaningful discussion taking into account current geopolitical realities.”

The conditions placed on Russia by the West show it is “detached from reality” and not interested in finding a solution, he said.

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Putin said the Ukraine war has been “provoked and is being diligently fueled by the West,” labeling it the “most striking … manifestation of its desire to retain its international dominance and preserve the unipolar world order.”

“It is crystal clear that NATO is striving for a global reach of activities and seeking to penetrate the Asia-Pacific. It is obvious that there are forces persistently working to split the common Eurasian space into a network of ‘exclusive clubs’ and military blocs that would serve to contain our countries’ development and harm their interests. This won’t work,” he asserted.

Russia and China are “committed to the principle of the indivisibility of security, which is being grossly violated by the NATO bloc,” said Putin.

“We are deeply concerned over the irresponsible and outright dangerous actions that jeopardize nuclear security. We reject illegitimate unilateral sanctions, which must be lifted,” he said.

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He warned that Washington’s policy of “simultaneously deterring Russia and China, as well as all those who do not bend to the American dictation, is getting ever more fierce and aggressive.”

“The international security and cooperation architecture is being dismantled. Russia has been labelled an ‘immediate threat’ and China a ‘strategic competitor,’” he said.

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On relations between Moscow and Beijing, Putin said Xi’s visit will give “a new powerful impetus to our bilateral cooperation.”

He said their ties have always been built on “mutual trust, respect for each other’s sovereignty and interests,” and despite changes in global politics they have maintained a “firm friendship.”

“The Russia-China relations have reached the highest level in their history and are gaining even more strength; they surpass Cold War-time military-political alliances in their quality, with no one to constantly order and no one to constantly obey, without limitations or taboos,” Putin said.

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Priorities in relations include trade and economic partnership, he said, adding that trade in 2022 doubled to reach $185 billion and the target of $200 billion will be surpassed as early as this year, rather than 2024.

“The supplies of Russian oil and coal have increased significantly. Our specialists are involved in building new nuclear power units in China, while Chinese companies actively engage in LNG projects. Our industrial and agricultural cooperation is growing stronger. Together we explore outer space and develop new technologies,” he said.

Russia and China are world powers that are “literally and figuratively building bridges … unlike some countries claiming hegemony and bringing discord to the global harmony,” said Putin.

“Our countries, together with like-minded actors, have consistently advocated the shaping of a more just multipolar world order based on international law rather than certain ‘rules’ serving the needs of the ‘golden billion,’” he said.

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“Russia and China have consistently worked to create an equitable, open and inclusive regional and global security system that is not directed against third countries. In this regard, we note the constructive role of China’s Global Security Initiative, which is in line with the Russian approaches in this area,” he added.

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