Zelensky plans to meet with China's Xi on proposed peace plan

On Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry announced a 12-point proposal that called for a resumption of peace talks between Ukraine and Russia.

LONDON — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday said he planned to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping about China's proposed peace plan, released on the first anniversary of the war.

“China started talking about Ukraine, and I think this is a good thing,” Zelensky said at a news conference one year after Russia’s invasion. “But it actually begs the question, what will these words be followed with? The steps next are important.”

On Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry announced a 12-point proposal that called for a resumption of peace talks and an end to all unilateral sanctions against Russia, and it emphasized its opposition to the use of nuclear weapons. It also stressed that territorial sovereignty should be upheld but remained vague on what that meant for Russia or Ukraine.

Speaking from Kyiv, Zelensky said he has plans to meet with Xi. “I ... believe this will be beneficial for our countries and for security in the world,” he said.

Since the beginning of the war, China has claimed neutrality despite stating that Russia had been provoked into invading Ukraine due to NATO’s expansion eastward.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

Zelensky said he would “work with China” but only if “there are ideas that correspond to international law or territorial integrity, and some security considerations.”

"But it's something," he added.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the Kremlin had welcomed China’s plan for peace, stating that it was open to achieving the goals of its “special military operation” through diplomatic means.

“We share the views of Beijing," Maria Zakharova, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said in a statement, but she added that this would mean recognizing “new territorial realities” for Ukraine.

Other negotiations for peace were also discussed at the anniversary news conference. Asked if he would attend negotiations mediated by Turkey, Zelensky said no. “It is not the same man,” he said about Russian President Vladimir Putin. “There is nobody to talk to there.”

During the broadcast, Zelensky remained defiant, insisting that Ukraine would be “victorious.”