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Chinese diplomat calls for Russia’s inclusion in Ukraine peace talks

Beijing supports a peace conference on the Ukraine war that would see equal participation of all parties, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui said in an interview with Russia’s RIA state news agency in remarks published on Tuesday.

“China supports a timely convening of an international peace conference, approved by the Russian and Ukrainian sides, with equal participation of all parties and fair discussion of all options for peace,” RIA cited the ambassador as saying.

Switzerland will host talks during a two-day high-level conference on June 15-16 to achieve peace in Ukraine, to which Moscow has not been invited. On Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping, on a visit to France, appeared to be lukewarm on the Swiss conference.

Moscow has said it sees no point in Ukraine peace talks in Switzerland, while Kyiv has said it sees no place at the summit, held near the Swiss city of Lucerne, for Russia.

Beijing put forward a 12-point paper more than a year ago that set out general principles for ending the war but did not get into specifics.

That plan received a tepid reception at the time in both Russia and Ukraine. At the same time, the United States said China was presenting itself as a peacemaker but reflecting Russia’s “false narrative” and failing to condemn its invasion.

The Chinese ambassador to Russia told RIA that Beijing is ready to continue playing a role and bringing “China’s wisdom” to help solve the crisis.

“To prevent the conflict from escalating and getting out of control, all parties must make common efforts to restore peace as quickly as possible,” Russia cited the diplomat.

Since Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Moscow’s smaller neighbor in February 2022, tens of thousands have been killed and millions driven from their homes. Now in its third year, the war has no end in sight.

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