Russia-Ukraine war: Zelensky accuses Russia of helping derail upcoming peace talks

SINGAPORE (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday accused China of helping to destabilize Russia. A peace conference organized by the Swiss In the war in Ukraine.

Speaking at Asia’s premier security conference, Zelenskyy said China is pressuring other countries and their leaders not to attend the upcoming talks. He didn’t say which ones.

“Russia is using Chinese influence in the region, using Chinese diplomats, to destabilize the peace summit,” he told a news conference at the Shangri-La Security Forum. It is unfortunate that a major independent power like China (Russian President Vladimir) is a tool in Putin’s hands.

China has shared what it says is a neutral stance War, Ukraine is at odds with the US and most of Europe. Its trade with Russia has grown, easing the economic impact of Western sanctions. And U.S., Ukrainian and other intelligence agencies say there is evidence that Chinese parts are intercepting Russian weapons, even if China does not arm its neighbors directly.

The Swiss expected China to attend the peace conference in mid-June, but Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning signaled Friday That is impossible. China is calling for a peace conference with equal participation of all parties, including Russia, in the absence of an invitation.

“There is still a clear gap between the arrangements for the meeting and the demands of the Chinese side and the general expectations of the international community,” Mao said. “This makes it difficult for China to participate in the meeting.”

The Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Zelensky’s accusation.

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The Ukrainian leader told others about China’s pressure, “It’s not just support for Russia, it’s basically support for war.”

In a speech to a security conference earlier in the day, Zelenskyy urged top security officials to attend the upcoming talks in Switzerland, saying he was disappointed that some countries had failed to commit to joining.

Chinese Defense Minister Tang Jun spoke Before Zelenskyy at the Shangri-La conference but Zelenskyy was not in the room during his appeal.

Zelenskyy said Ukraine has made proposals at the summit on nuclear security, food security, the release of prisoners of war and the return of Ukrainian children abducted by Russia, as a basis for peace.

“Time is running out, children are growing up in a Putin-land that teaches them to hate their homeland,” he said.

At the same time, Ukraine is “ready to listen to various proposals and ideas that will lead us to an end to the war and a sustainable and just peace,” Zelensky said.

If participation is high, Russia will have to ask for it, he said.

“The global majority can ensure that what is agreed upon with their involvement is truly implemented,” he said.

Zelensky said he plans to meet the Singaporean prime minister one-on-one and urge him to participate in the Swiss talks in person.

“The same goes for countries in the region,” he said through a translator. “We sincerely hope that you will support this summit and that you will be in Switzerland.”

From Singapore, he may travel to Manila to invite President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to the summit in person, two senior Philippine government officials said.

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Ukrainian officials have notified the Philippines of Zelenskyy’s intentions, but the visit remains uncertain as the Ukrainian president’s travel plans keep changing, said one of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter.

Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen, who shared the stage with Zelenskyy, did not say whether his country’s leaders would attend, but noted that Singapore condemned the invasion and provided military ambulances to Ukraine.

“We stand with you, and I think your appearance in this Shangri-La conversation epitomizes the fact that we all want a rules-based order that guarantees the security and survival of nations large and small,” he said.

Dong did not specifically mention the Swiss meetings in his speech at the forum, but said that “in the Ukraine crisis, China is promoting peace talks with a responsible approach.”

He added that China has not supplied arms to either side of the conflict.

“We didn’t do anything to fan the flames,” he said. “We stand firmly on the side of peace and dialogue.”

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin sat in the front row as Zelensky spoke. In An address is SaturdayAustin told the security conference, “Putin’s war of aggression has given us all a glimpse of a world none of us want.”

“We are all inspired by the courage of Ukraine’s troops and the resilience of the people of Ukraine,” Austin said. “People from around the world have rushed to help Ukraine defend itself, including countries across the Indo-Pacific.”

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Moritsugu reports from Hong Kong. Associated Press writer Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines contributed.

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