BEIJING (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in a call on Friday that Russia is willing to hold high level talks with Ukraine, China’s foreign ministry said.
China has refused to call Russia’s action in Ukraine an “invasion” or criticise Moscow despite intensifying assaults from Russia’s military.
Putin told Xi that the United States and NATO had long ignored Russia’s legitimate security concerns, repeatedly reneged on their commitments, and continued to expand military deployment eastward, challenging Russia’s strategic bottom line, according to a statement on the Chinese foreign ministry website.
Russia is willing to conduct high-level negotiations with Ukraine, Putin was cited as saying.
China has repeatedly called for the crisis to be resolved through dialogue.
China supports Russia and Ukraine in resolving the issue through negotiation, Xi told Putin, according to the ministry.
Xi also called for all sides to abandon a Cold War mentality, respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries, and form a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism through negotiation, according to the statement.
Xi said China respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, according to the statement.
(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian and Martin Quin Pollard; editing by John Stonestreet)