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Zelensky says China's support for Russia will extend war in Ukraine

China's support for Russia will prolong the war in Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday, as he called on Asia-Pacific countries to join the next peace summit, which he accused Russia of trying to prevent.

Zelensky made the comment in Singapore during a surprise appearance at a meeting of defense chiefs from across the Asia-Pacific, including China and the US. The speech takes place before the international peace conference on Ukraine, scheduled for June 15th and 16th in Switzerland.

“With China’s support for Russia, the war will last longer. This is bad for the whole world and for China's policy – ​​which declares that it supports territorial integrity and sovereignty and declares it officially. It’s not good for them,” Zelensky said during a press conference.

China claims neutrality in the conflict and has claimed to be a defender of peace, despite having emerged as a key economic lifeline and having strengthened its already close strategic and diplomatic partnership with Russia since the country's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 .

The US has also claimed that China's export of dual-use goods to Russia is fueling the embattled country's defense industrial base and has warned Beijing about the consequences of such support – a claim Beijing has refuted, saying it has not supplied weapons to Russia. either side and maintains a firm position.

Zelensky mentioned that support in comments on Sunday, saying that certain elements that make up parts of Russia's weaponry “come from China.”

The Ukrainian leader also warned that Russia is trying to pressure countries not to join the next international peace summit – with the help of China.

“Russia is trying to disrupt the peace summit and that is true… (Russia) is now traveling around many countries in the world, threatening them with a blockade of agricultural products, food products, chemicals… it is simply pushing the other countries in the world so that they are not present at the summit,” Zelensky said after speaking at the defense conference.

When asked later about China's statement that it would not participate in the peace summit, the Ukrainian leader accused Russia of using Chinese diplomats to disrupt the summit.

“It is regrettable that a country as large, independent and powerful as China is an instrument in the hands of Putin,” Zelensky said, speaking through an interpreter.

The Ukrainian leader added that he did not have any meetings with Chinese representatives in Singapore, despite the Ukrainian side's interest in further dialogue.

China said last week it would not send a delegation to the peace summit, saying any international peace conference should have “recognition of Russia and Ukraine, equal participation of all parties and fair discussion of all peace plans.”

Chinese Minister of National Defense Dong Jun, in a speech earlier Sunday, said China was “promoting peace talks with a responsible attitude.”

Dong also appeared to respond to U.S. allegations that China is bolstering Russia's defense industrial base with dual-use exports, saying in his remarks that China has not supplied weapons to either side in the conflict and has placed “tighter control.” in dual-use exports.

US defense chief Lloyd Austin raised these transactions with Dong during a side meeting on Friday, where he warned of the consequences for any Chinese support for the Russian military.

A CNN reached out to the Chinese Foreign Ministry for comment on Zelensky's allegations.

Source: CNN Brasil

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