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Zelenskiy accuses China of dissuading countries from attending peace summit | Ukraine

Volodomyr Zelenskiy accused China of discouraging other countries from participating in a peace summit in Switzerland later this month aimed at bringing peace to war-ravaged Ukraine.

Speaking at Asia’s largest security conference, the Shangri-La Dialogue, in Singapore, the Ukrainian president sought to rally support from countries in the Asia-Pacific region, urging them to attend the meeting Swiss.

“The world must be resilient, it must be strong, it must put pressure on Russia,” Zelenskiy said. “There is no other way to stop Putin – only diplomatic isolation, a strong Ukrainian army and for all countries in the world, not a balance between Ukraine and Russia, but a defense of international justice and law. »

Zelenskiy said he was “disappointed” that some world leaders had not yet confirmed their attendance.

Russia is seeking to undermine the summit by warning countries not to attend and threatening to impose a blockade on agricultural and food products, he said.

He later told media that China had supported such efforts to dissuade leaders from participating. “Unfortunately, Russia, using Chinese influence in the region and also using Chinese diplomats, is doing everything to disrupt the peace summit. It is regrettable that a country as large, independent and powerful as China is a tool in the hands of Putin,” he said.

Since a phone call between Zelenskiy and Chinese President Xi Jinping a year ago, Ukraine has sought to meet with Chinese officials at all levels, he said, but this has not been forthcoming. He did not meet Chinese officials despite their presence in Singapore.

Earlier on Sunday, Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun told Shangri-La Dialogue participants that his country had “promoted peace talks with a responsible attitude.” “We have never provided weapons to any of the parties to the conflict. We imposed stricter controls on the export of dual-use goods and never did anything to fan the flames. We are firmly on the side of peace and dialogue,” Dong said.

But Zelenskiy said: “With China’s support for Russia, the war will last longer and that is bad for the whole world.” You cannot say that we accept the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine while being on the side of a country that violates the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the ‘Ukraine.”

Zelenskiy said on X that he met with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue on Sunday morning. “We discussed key issues: the defense needs of our country, strengthening Ukraine’s air defense system, the F-16 coalition and drafting a bilateral security agreement,” he said. declared.

He said he was grateful to Joe Biden for his decision to allow Ukraine to use U.S.-supplied weapons against targets in Russia. However, in comments to the media, he said this was not enough, as Ukraine still did not have the systems or permissions to target airfields from which Russia was “constantly firing”.

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