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China will send team for peace talks: Xi Jinping in call with Zelenskyy

Zelenskiy's spokesperson Serhiy Nykyforov said on Facebook that the two had "an almost hour-long conversation"

Ukraine, russia war


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Chinese President Xi Jinping will send a delegation to Ukraine to hold talks with all the parties on resolving the conflict there, after his first phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, since Russia invaded the country in February 2022, a media report said.
According to Chinese state media, Xi made the proposal during a telephone call on Wednesday with Zelenskiy, offering to help facilitate peace talks aimed at achieving a ceasefire as soon as possible, The Guardian reported.
Xi also appeared to pledge that China would remain neutral in the conflict, saying Beijing "will neither watch the fire from the other side, nor add fuel to the fire, let alone take advantage of the crisis to profit", according to China Central Television.
However, China remains Russia's top strategic ally in the midst of the conflict. Despite scepticism in Ukraine about China's overtures for negotiations, Kiev has been keen to keep communications open with Beijing, not least after Xi's recent high-profile summit in Moscow where Russia and China pledged "undying friendship".
Zelenskiy said: "I had a long and meaningful phone call with President Xi Jinping. I believe that this call, as well as the appointment of Ukraine's ambassador to China, will give a powerful impetus to the development of our bilateral relations," The Guardian reported.
Zelenskiy's spokesperson Serhiy Nykyforov said on Facebook that the two had "an almost hour-long conversation".
Commenting on the call, Russia's Foreign Ministry said on that it has noted China's willingness to engage in a peace process for Ukraine.
"We note the readiness of the Chinese side to make efforts to establish a negotiation process," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, The Guardian reported.
Russia seizes assets of two Western firms

The Kremlin said on Wednesday it could seize more Western assets in retaliation for foreign moves against Russian companies, after taking temporary control of assets belonging to two European state-owned utilities. President Vladimir Putin late on Tuesday signed a decree placing the Russian assets of Finland’s Fortum and Germany’s Uniper , which both operate power plants in Russia, under Moscow’s control. Russia made clear that the move could be reversed. Uniper said it was reviewing the action against its Russian division Unipro. Fortum said it was investigating and had learned that the company’s CEO had been replaced and the unit put under temporary asset management.
A spokesperson for Germany's Finance Ministry, which oversees the government's ownership of Uniper, said Berlin needed to assess the concrete implications of Russia's decree.
Finland's outgoing minister in charge of state holdings Tytti Tuppurainen tweeted that the information was worrying and that the state, as Fortum's majority owner, would follow the matter closely.
Moscow has reacted angrily to reports that Group of Seven nations are considering a near-total ban on exports to Russia, while many have called for tougher sanctions to limit Russia's ability to fight in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the European Union is looking at using frozen Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine. Germany nationalised a former division of Russian energy giant Gazprom last year.

- Reuters


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Apr 26 2023 | 11:26 PM IST

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