Kremlin welcomes Xi-Zelensky call on Ukraine, but says Russia’s aims remain the same
MOSCOW — The Kremlin said on Thursday it welcomed anything that could bring the end of the Ukraine conflict closer when asked what it thought of a phone call a day earlier between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
But the Kremlin said it still needed to achieve the aims of what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
The Chinese and Ukrainian leaders on Wednesday spoke for the first time since Russia sent its troops into Ukraine in February last year, fulfilling a longstanding goal of Kyiv which had publicly sought such talks for months.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was familiar with the details of what the two leaders had discussed and said their stances on the conflict were well known.
“We are ready to welcome anything that could hasten the end of the conflict in Ukraine and Russia achieving all the goals it has set itself,” Peskov said of their phone call.
“As for the fact that they communicated – that is a sovereign matter for each of these countries and a question of their bilateral dialogue.”
Asked if Russia and China had discussed restoring Ukraine to its 1991 borders during a recent visit to Moscow by the Chinese leader, Peskov said:
“There was no discussion of that.”