China and India heap pressure on Putin to end Ukraine invasion

Have China and India abandoned Putin? Beijing and Delhi heap pressure on Russian dictator to end his spluttering Ukraine invasion and call for peace talks

  • Chinese foreign minister urged Russia not to let effects of their war ‘spill over’
  • Wang Yi called for ‘fair and pragmatic’ peace talks to resolve all global issues
  • His remarks were seconded by India, which shares ties with and is ally of Kremlin
  • It suggests that support for Putin’s invasion among its two key allies is waning

India and China have heaped pressure on Vladimir Putin to end his faltering invasion of Ukraine in favour of peace talks.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged Russia and Ukraine not to let effects of their war ‘spill over’ and called for a diplomatic resolution at the United Nations General Assembly yesterday.

China’s top diplomat stopped short of robustly supporting the invasion, nominally an ally of Beijing.

He said: ‘We call on all parties concerned to keep the crisis from spilling over and to protect the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.’

Mr Yi also called for ‘fair and pragmatic’ peace talks to resolve all global issues.

He added: ‘China supports all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis. The pressing priority is to facilitate talks for peace,” Wang said.

‘The fundamental solution is to address the legitimate security concerns of all parties and build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture.’

His remarks were seconded by India, which also shares historic economic ties bilateral defence agreements with Moscow.

It suggests support for Putin’s invasion among its two key allies is waning days after he announced he would mobilise 300,000 reservists and warned his country would use ‘all the means at our disposal’ to protect itself.

Previously, India and China voiced their opposition to Western sanctions imposed on Russia following the invasion in February and continued to purchase Russian energy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping before an extended-format meeting of heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit last week

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pictured speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday

A destroyed Russian tank is seen as Ukrainian serviceman rides a tractor and tows a Russian military vehicle as its invasion falters

But US officials have been heartened by what they see as a lack of concrete backing for the war.

They say that Beijing has declined requests to send military equipment, forcing Russia to rely on North Korea and Iran as its own supplies dwindle.

It comes as Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov also refused to answer a question on whether China is pressuring the Kremlin to end the war.

Earlier this month, Putin also acknowledged Chinese ‘concerns’ about Ukraine during a meeting with his counterpart Xi Jinping.

Before the war, the Russian president had visited Beijing and the two nations declared a tight alliance.

But in the first meeting with China and India at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Uzbekistan, Putin is understood to have been angered when both countries said they felt uneasy about the invasion, The Times reports.

Putin had been hoping for strong statements of support from his allies.

However, Mr Jinping instead said he had ‘questions and concerns’ about the invasion, while Indian PM Narendra Modi urged Putin to bring the war to an end.

Modi told the Russian leader: ‘Today’s era is not an era of war, and I have spoken to you on the phone about this.’

Russia has also been reliant upon Turkey during its war efforts, but the country issued a stern riposte when Putin said referendums would be carried out in Russian-held regions of Ukraine.

Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for a photo shaking hands prior to their talks on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit earlier this month

A statement from Istanbul said: ‘Such illegitimate fait accomplis will not be recognised by the international community. 

‘On the contrary, they will complicate efforts to revitalise the diplomatic process and deepen instability,” Istanbul’s statement said.

‘We renew our support to Ukraine’s territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty, which we have been emphasising since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, and reiterate our readiness to extend all necessary support to resolve the ongoing war through peaceful negotiations.’

During his visit to the United Nations, Mr Wang also met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, in their first talks since Russia invaded its neighbour on February 24.

It comes as Liz Truss today said the West should not listen to Putin’s ‘sabre-rattling’ and ‘bogus threats’ to unleash his nuclear arsenal.

The Prime Minister was asked how the West should respond to the Russian president’s partial military mobilisation and warnings his country would use ‘all the means at our disposal’ to protect itself.

She told CNN’s State Of The Union programme: ‘We should not be listening to his sabre-rattling and his bogus threats.

‘Instead, what we need to do is continue to put sanctions on Russia and continue to support the Ukrainians because if Putin is allowed to succeed, this wouldn’t just send a terrible message in Europe and of course, huge threats to the Ukrainian population themselves, but it also would send a message to other authoritarian regimes around the world that it’s somehow acceptable to… invade a sovereign nation.

‘So this is why it’s so important that we continue to be resolute, we don’t listen to the sabre-rattling that we’re hearing from Putin, and we continue to back the Ukrainians to the hilt.’ 

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