Sanchez urges Xi to include Ukraine in peace talks

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday that he had urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to talk to his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky about Kiev’s peace plan to end Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Sanchez is in China for talks aimed at strengthening ties between Beijing and Madrid.

Speaking at a press conference at the Spanish embassy in Beijing, Sanchez said that in meetings with Xi Jinping and other senior Chinese officials, he discussed “China’s position” on Russia’s war in Ukraine.

He also accused Russian leader Vladimir Putin of seeking to “weaken” the EU’s “multilateral project for peace and prosperity.”

“I called on President Xi to have a conversation with President Zelensky to get first-hand knowledge of this peace plan of the Ukrainian government,” Sanchez said.

Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly said he will be open to talks with Xi – an offer the Chinese leader has yet to respond to – despite numerous rounds of talks with Putin.

Last month, Beijing released a 12-point document calling for a “political settlement” of the crisis in Ukraine.

The document was immediately greeted with skepticism by Ukraine’s allies and wary in Kyiv.

Sanchez on Friday also hailed Beijing’s stance against the use of nuclear weapons in the conflict, as well as its stated support for “territorial integrity.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus last week, a warning to the West, which is stepping up its military support for Ukraine.