China’s stance on Russia-Ukraine conflict ‘highly appreciated’: Russian FM spokeswoman
Published: Oct 23, 2023 10:14 AM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

As the war between Russia and Ukraine entered its 600th day, it is hard to speak about any prospects of a politico-diplomatic solution to the conflict around Ukraine under current conditions, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the Global Times in an exclusive interview.

The prospect of peace dims against the backdrop that the war has long entered the phase of stalemate. The Ukrainian side began a counteroffensive in June, and the progress has been grueling. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently called Kiev's efforts unsuccessful. "Since June 4, it [Ukraine's counteroffensive] has been continuing. So far there are no results, there are only huge losses," he said in an interview with a Chinese media outlet.

In his address to the Ukrainian people on Monday, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky praised his country's resilience, saying all the efforts Kiev had made "add to Ukraine's strength."

Speaking of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Zakharova said that the current crisis in Ukraine is not the Russia-Ukraine conflict, instead, it is, in fact, a hybrid war of the West against Russia. "Our country is faced with the entire military, financial and economic potential of the Western bloc," she added.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova Photo: Courtesy of the Russian Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova Photo: Courtesy of the Russian Foreign Ministry

She accused Kiev of becoming a US tool to try to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. 

"We have repeatedly noted that Russia has never rejected any political methods of resolution of any disputable or conflict situation. However, the demands that are put forward by Kiev to resume the negotiation process it has disrupted itself speak only to the fact that Zelensky's regime is not ready for dialogue," she noted.

On the other hand, when addressing the United Nations General Assembly in September, Zelensky called on the global community to condemn "Russian aggression," slamming Moscow for "weaponizing" everything from food, and energy to nuclear weapons, among others. 

As the war drags on, the West has strengthened its sanctions against Russia - for instance, the EU has imposed 11 rounds of "massive and unprecedented sanctions against Russia" since the military conflict broke out.

According to Zakharova, the purpose of "illegitimate restrictions on the part of the US and other countries in the West" is to force Russia to change its independent political course, to oust Russia from global energy markets, to undermine its competitiveness and prospects for a long-term development, and to inflict the maximum damage on its national interests with a prospect of destabilizing the internal political situation.

The US, which initiated this illegal sanctions policy against Russia, is the main beneficiary, she pointed out while stating that Europe's interests have been, instead, damaged, leading to intensifying economic problems for countries in the European Union.

In general, the sanctions imposed by the West against Moscow have failed, the spokeswoman claimed.

As President Putin noted, Russia has withstood the unprecedented "sanctions onslaught" of the unfriendly countries and, in general, has completed the process of economic recovery, she said.

"We shall continue to actively work in progress to strengthen our own economy, including building mutually beneficial foreign economic relations with reliable partners who adhere to a constructive line in relations with our country," Zakharova continued.

Since the outbreak of the war, China has been making an independent judgment based on the merits of the matter itself and in an objective and fair manner. China announced its position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis in February, in which it calls on parties concerned to realize a ceasefire through dialogue and negotiation and find a way to accommodate the legitimate security concerns of all parties concerned as soon as possible.

"We highly appreciate the Chinese side's understanding of the conflict's true root causes," Zakharova told the Global Times.