Xi Jinping and Zelenski talk on the phone for the first time since the beginning of the Russian invasion
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky have had a historic telephone conversation 14 months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Chinese state media reported on the meeting, in which the two leaders agreed to strengthen economic and trade ties between their countries.
A meaningful gesture
The call is seen as a significant gesture toward Ukraine and a sign that China is not willing to fully align with Russia in the conflict.
Visit to Moscow in March
Since the Chinese president visited Russia in March and met with President Putin, there has been growing international pressure on Beijing to take steps to help Ukraine. Xi Jinping’s call to Zelenski is a sign that China is willing to act as a major player in the conflict and support Ukraine.
Sergey Lavrov blames the West and its sanctions
At the UN, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has blamed the West and its sanctions for the failure of the Black Sea grain export deal. The pact, which was reached in July with the mediation of the UN and Turkey, has been affected by the crisis in Ukraine and tensions between Russia and Western countries.
The situation in Russia remains tense
Meanwhile, the situation in Russia remains tense. On Wednesday, a new «terrorism» case was opened against opposition figure Alexei Navalni, and a trial began against a former mayor of Yekaterinburg for criticizing the war. The Russian government’s crackdown on dissidents and the opposition continues to be of international concern and has led to increasing pressure on the Russian government to respect human rights and civil liberties.