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China, Belarus call for 'soonest possible' peace in Ukraine

March 1, 2023

Leaders Xi Jinping and Alexander Lukashenko were meeting in Beijing for a joint summit. Belarus has provided military support to Russia, while China has refused to condemn the invasion.

Alexander Lukashenko and  Xi Jinping
Lukashenko praised Xi's 'strong leadership'Image: PAVEL ORLOVSKY/BELTA/AFP

At a joint summit on Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko called for the "soonest possible establishment of peace in Ukraine."

The pair "expressed deep concern about the development of the armed conflict."

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Belarus has provided considerable military and strategic support to Moscow, while China has refused to condemn the invasion and has continued to support Russia diplomatically.

Lukashenko backs Chinese peace plan

Standing with Lukashenko for televised comments, Xi said Bejing was seeking to strengthen ties with Minsk, "given the instability and turbulence of the international situation."

Lukashenko said that they were meeting "in a very complicated time which demands new unorthodox approaches and responsible political decisions. They must be primarily aimed at the prevention of an uncontrolled descent into a global confrontation which has no winners."

He pointed to a 12-point peace plan put forward by China last week and said Belarus."comprehensively supports your incentive on international security."

The two leaders also signed a range of cooperation documents on sectors such as trade, industry, agriculture, and technology.

The documents included a plan for a free trade and an investment zone.

es/ar (Reuters, dpa)