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China urges Russia-Ukraine to mend ties
September 6, 2014, 11:37 am

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addresses journalists after announcing a ceasefire with rebel groups during a NATO Summit in Wales on 5 September 2014 [Image: Ukraine Presidency]

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addresses journalists after announcing a ceasefire with rebel groups during a NATO Summit in Wales on 5 September 2014 [Image: Ukraine Presidency]

China hopes to see Ukraine-Russia relations back on the right track, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a trip to New Zealand following the announcement of Kiev and pro-Russian rebels reaching a ceasefire agreement on Friday.

China is calling for parties involved in the Ukraine crisis to uphold the ceasefire agreement, he urged. An earlier ceasefire in June had lasted a mere 10 days.

“The Ukraine issue is very complicated and sensitive as well. An inclusive dialogue is needed within Ukraine, so as to seek a political solution for different ethnic groups and regions. It’s also needed for Ukraine’s relations with its neighbours, especially with Russia,” Wang said in Auckland on Friday.

“We feel happy about the development of the talks. We would also like to see the ceasefire be held. That caters to the basic and long-term interests of Ukrainians, and we support that,” he added.

China’s backing comes amid the EU’s announcements that the 28-member bloc has imposed a new round of sectoral sanctions against Russia that would be implemented on Monday.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has warned on Saturday there would be a “reaction” to new sanctions.

“Concerning the new list of sanctions on behalf of the EU, if they are implemented, the reaction will certainly follow on our side,” the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The Ukrainian army has clashed with militia in eastern part of the country since early April till a sudden truce was announced on Friday.

Kiev has accused Moscow of backing the escalating clashes, a claim repeatedly denied by the Russian government.

The US has said it is skeptical of the possibility of the ceasefire holding out.

“With respect to the ceasefire agreement, obviously we are hopeful but based on past experience also skeptical that in fact the separatists will follow through and the Russians will stop violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. So it has to be tested,” US President Barack Obama told reporters in Wales during a NATO Summit.

In Minsk, the Ukrainian government and separatist leaders had on Friday agreed to a ceasefire, the international monitoring of its implementation, the exchange of all prisoners and the opening of humanitarian corridors. These arrangements were among the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s seven-point plan to resolve the situation in Ukraine.

 

TBP and Agencies

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