Wednesday, March 22, 2023
The leaders of China and Russia hailed a “new era” in their relationship, putting on a united front in Moscow.
Putin said he was open to talks on Ukraine and praised Beijing’s 12-point position paper on the conflict, which includes a call for dialogue and respect for all countries’ territorial sovereignty.
“Many of the provisions of the peace plan put forward by China… can be taken as the basis for a peaceful settlement when Kiev and the West will be ready for it,” Putin said after talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
“However, so far we have not seen such readiness on their part.”
The United States, however, said it does not see China as capable of being an impartial mediator – Washington’s most direct criticism yet of Beijing’s aim to be a middleman in efforts to end the conflict.
0340 GMT – EU to provide other countries besides Ukraine with ‘lethal support’
The European Union’s foreign policy chief said that the bloc will send lethal weapons to other countries besides Ukraine which are “increasingly interested in lethal support”.
Speaking at the Schuman Security and Defence Forum in Brussels, Josep Borrell said Europe’s response to the war in Ukraine has changed the way “we – in Europe – regard our own security and defence agenda.”
At the same time, he said it has also changed the way “you – our partners – regard our agenda” and the opportunities that it may offer.
2110 GMT – Zelenskyy says held ‘productive’ talks with Japan PM
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he held “productive talks” with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on his visit to Kiev.
“I also heard a very concrete willingness of Japan to work together with us to even more actively mobilise the world for international order, to protect against aggression, to protect against Russian terror,” he said.
2100 GMT – IMF reaches staff deal with Ukraine for $15.6B programme
The International Monetary Fund [IMF] has reached a staff agreement with Ukraine for a four-year financing package worth about $15.6 billion.
The agreement follows months of negotiations between IMF staff officials and Ukrainian authorities.
2016 GMT – China should urge end of Russian offensive in Ukraine – US
The US has said it does not want any truce in Ukraine “right now” and if China wants to play a constructive role in Ukraine, its president, Xi Jinping, should urge Russia to end its attack on Ukraine.
Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged from two days of talks on Tuesday with warm words of friendship between China and Russia and joint criticism of the West.
John Kirby, the White House national security spokesperson, said the US does not want to see a ceasefire in Ukraine because it would allow Russia to keep its territorial gains and let Putin regroup his forces.
“A ceasefire right now, freezing the lines where they are, basically gives him the time and space he needs to try to re-equip, to re-man, to make up for that resource expenditure,” Kirby said.