Chinese peace proposal in Ukraine "interesting signal": Austrian FM
The Austrian official expresses pessimism with regards to the likelihood for both Russia and Ukraine to engage in peace talks anytime soon.
Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg described China's proposal for a possible peace settlement in Ukraine as "an interesting signal" from Beijing, Politico reported on Monday.
"The Chinese comments about a possible peace initiative are at least an interesting signal ... We have to wait and see what exactly China puts on the table," Schallenberg told Politico.
That comes after Chinese Central Foreign Affairs Office Director Wang Yi said that President Xi Jinping would by the end of this month present a "peace proposal" that would outline Beijing's position on the war in Ukraine.
However, the Austrian official expressed skepticism about the likelihood of Russia and Ukraine engaging in peace talks anytime soon.
"China is obviously not happy with Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the global consequences, especially in the economic sphere," Schallenberg told Politico, which is questionable considering that the leaders of both countries have reaffirmed their bilateral ties several times over the past year.
"We have to wait and see what exactly China puts on the table," he added.
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The peace proposal may have been the product of a personal request issued by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom the former had reportedly asked the Chinese leader to 'influence' Russia to end war in Ukraine.
The Chinese President Xi Jinping told his Russian counterpart on December 30, 2022 that China highly appreciates that Russia is not refusing to resolve the Ukrainian crisis through negotiations.
"The Chinese side has noted that the Russian side has said it has never refused to resolve the conflict through diplomatic negotiations and expressed its appreciation for this," Xi was quoted as saying in the video call by Chinese news agency CCTV.
According to Sputnik, citing a UN source, another peace proposal is reportedly underway at the UN General Assembly and is scheduled to be voted on February 22.
It reportedly involves a Kiev-initiated draft resolution on the "principles underlying a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine," which will undermine Russia's demands to alleviate its own security concerns.
Russia's UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told Sputnik that Moscow is prepared to consider Ukraine's conflict settlement proposals if Russia's security demands considered.
Read more: Stoltenberg incites Europeans against China at the MSC: Global Times