Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia and China of sabotaging the peace summit

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia and China of trying to sabotage his upcoming global peace summit in Switzerland.

He said Russia is trying to prevent other countries from attending the event and China is also trying to do this.

Speaking at an Asian security forum, he also said there were “elements of Russian weapons” coming from China.

China says it does not take sides in the Ukraine war, a position increasingly questioned by the United States.

Beijing is accused of supporting Moscow by sending components for weapons. It is also seen as supporting the Russian economy by buying large quantities of oil and gas, reducing the impact of Western sanctions.

Mr. Zelensky suddenly appeared at the Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore attended by defense ministers around the world, including US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun.

The visit aims to attract support from Asian countries. Besides meeting regional leaders, he also called on delegates to attend his summit scheduled to be held at the end of June.

Mr. Zelensky said the country would focus on achieving nuclear security, food security and the release of prisoners of war as well as Ukrainian children held in Russia.

He said so far, 106 countries have said they will send their high-level representatives or leaders to the summit.

Russia has not been invited and China is not attending either.

The BBC said a formal invitation had not been extended to Russia because Moscow had soon told Switzerland it did not want to participate.

Mr. Zelensky said that Russia is trying to disrupt the summit by pressuring countries not to attend, through threatening to blockade agricultural products, chemical goods and energy.

He added that several countries are supporting this “diplomatic disruption.”

He then named China and said the country was “working to keep countries from coming to the peace summit”, unlike the US which has promised to send high-level representatives and encouraged others to attend.

China’s Foreign Ministry said that the conference “should have the recognition of Russia and Ukraine” and equal participation. “Otherwise, the conference is unlikely to play a substantive role in restoring peace,” a spokesman said on Friday.

Mr. Zelensky also said that Chinese leader Xi Jinping had previously promised him that they would “stand aside in this war and would not support Russia with weapons.”

However, he added, there are now “components in Russian weapons” coming from China, according to various intelligence agencies. He called on China to maintain a “consistent” stance.

The US said China is helping Russia produce more ammunition, armored vehicles and missiles. It is estimated that about 70% of machine tools and 90% of microelectronic equipment that Russia imports come from China.

Earlier on Sunday, Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun said it did not supply weapons to any side in the Ukraine conflict.

He also said they had “strict controls” on the export of dual-use technology, which are items that can be used for civilian and military purposes.

“We have never done anything to fan the flames,” he said in the speech. We firmly stand on the side of peace and dialogue.”

Mr. Zelensky said he did not meet Mr. Dong at the dialogue but he did meet Mr. Austin. According to Mr. Zelensky, the two discussed the US decision to let Ukraine use US weapons on Russian territory.

That decision comes with certain limitations. When asked by the BBC whether he would ask for the restrictions to be lifted, he said he was grateful to the US for allowing Ukraine to use the HIMARS artillery rocket system on the border of the Kharkiv region, which has seen fierce fighting.

“Is that enough? No,” he said, adding that there were airports where Russia fired repeatedly “knowing that Ukraine would not fire back.”

The United States, along with other Western countries such as France, allows Ukraine more freedom to use weapons provided by the West. Russia has warned of “serious consequences” of this move.

This weekend marks the second time Mr. Zelensky has visited Asia since the war began. He made a surprise appearance at the G7 leaders summit a year ago in Hiroshima, Japan.


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