Von der Leyen to speak with Zelenskyy ahead of China visit

Von der Leyen to speak with Zelenskyy ahead of China visit
Опубликовано: Tuesday, 04 April 2023 13:58

The talk precedes EU Commission chief’s visit to Beijing.


BRUSSELS — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will speak to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ahead of her visit to China later this week.

Von der Leyen will hold a phone call with the Ukrainian president “in the context of her preparation for this trip [to China],” Commission spokesperson Eric Mamer confirmed at a media briefing Tuesday.

In her meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, slated for Thursday, von der Leyen is expected to broach the topic of China’s role in Russia’s war on Ukraine.

In a speech last week, she rejected China’s peace proposal for Ukraine — which recognizes seized Ukrainian territory as Russian — as “simply not a viable plan” and expressed concerns that the country may be siding with Russia in the ongoing conflict.

Today, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said: “[China’s] position on Russia’s atrocities and war crimes will determine the quality of our relationship.’’

Borrell also announced Tuesday that he will visit Beijing next week.

Von der Leyen will join French President Emmanuel Macron on his trip to Beijing this week. The Commission’s spokesperson confirmed that she will hold a meeting with Xi Jinping and Macron, followed by a talk with the Chinese leader.

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