Emmanuel Macron is to go to China in April in an try and persuade Beijing to place stress on Vladimir Putin to end the war in Ukraine.
The French president’s announcement on Saturday got here a day after China known as for pressing peace talks and unveiled a 12 point plan to finish the year-long conflict.
A number of Western powers rebuffed the proposals for a “political settlement” to the disaster sparked by Russia’s unlawful invasion and warned Beijing was too near Moscow.
“The truth that China is participating in peace efforts is an efficient factor,” Mr Macron mentioned on the sidelines of an agricultural present in Paris.
Mr Macron urged China, which has an in depth alliance with Moscow, “to not provide any arms to Russia”.
He sought Beijing’s assist to “exert stress on Russia to make sure it by no means makes use of chemical or nuclear weapons and it stops this aggression previous to negotiations”.
He added that mentioned peace was solely attainable if “Russian aggression was halted, troops withdrawn, and the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine and its individuals was revered”.
The Chinese language peace plan urges all events to “help Russia and Ukraine in working in the identical route and resuming direct dialogue as rapidly as attainable”.
It additionally makes clear its opposition to not solely using nuclear weapons, however the specter of deploying them, after the Russian chief threatened their use final 12 months.
Russia has mentioned any answer ought to recognise Kremlin management over 4 Ukrainian areas.
On Friday, Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned that he was planning to satisfy China’s Xi Jinping and expressed hope that China would help a “simply peace”.
However on Saturday, Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to the Ukrainian president dismissed China’s “unrealistic” proposal to finish the conflict.
Beijing has sought to place itself as a impartial social gathering, whereas sustaining shut ties with strategic ally Russia, because it appears to play a job as mediator in the war.
On Thursday, China abstained from a UN Basic Meeting vote demanding that Russia instantly and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine.
Beijing introduced on Saturday that Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian President and shut ally of Putin, would go to China from February 28 to March 2.
Belarus, which shares a border with Ukraine and Russia, allowed Moscow to make use of its territory to launch its invasion of Ukraine.