The only way to resolve the conflict is if Moscow meets Kiev’s conditions, foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has claimed
China’s proposal to end the conflict in Ukraine is “not a peace plan,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has claimed. The diplomat insisted that demands made by Kiev are the only viable solution to the crisis, despite Russia making clear it will not accept them.
Speaking at an event hosted by the European University Institute in Florence on Friday, Borrell said that the EU should continue to arm Kiev and argued that certain peace plans for Ukraine were undesirable.
“The only thing that can be called a peace plan is [Vladimir] Zelensky’s proposal,” he stated, referring to the Ukrainian president. “The Chinese peace plan, well, it’s not a peace plan. It’s a set of wishful considerations, wishful thinking, but it’s not a peace plan.”
“If you want peace, push Russia to withdraw,” Borrell added. “Don’t tell me to stop supporting Ukraine.”
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Zelensky’s peace plan demands that Russia withdrawal from all territories that Kiev claims as its own, including Crimea, as well as calling for war reparations and NATO-like security guarantees, among other measures. The government in Kiev has repeatedly said it would not compromise and would continue to fight for as long as it takes.
Borrell acknowledged that the Russian government would not accept Ukrainian demands, and blamed Moscow for continued hostilities.
“If you have someone who says: ‘I have military objectives, and I will continue bombing, I will continue fighting until I get them’ – well, what kind of peace talk do you want to do?” he said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
If Kiev surrenders, Borrell claimed that Russian troops would be “on the Polish border” and Ukraine would become a “second Belarus”. Without Western support, this would happen “in a matter of days,” he predicted.
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Russia launched its military operation against Ukraine in February 2022, citing Kiev’s continued attacks in Donbass and growing involvement with NATO.
Beijing’s 12-point peace proposal, released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry in February, urges the security concerns of each party to be addressed. The Chinese government has criticized NATO’s expansion in Europe, calling it the root of the conflict in Ukraine.
Borrell suggested that China could have a role in resolving the crisis by pushing Russia towards accepting Kiev’s conditions, although he expressed concern about closer ties between Moscow and Beijing.
The diplomat insisted that the EU was more united than ever in the face of an “enemy,” joking that he felt like the “defense minister” of the bloc.