The Foreign Secretary has stated that he would “welcome”, any intervention from China, which could help end the war between Russia & Ukraine.
James Cleverly stated that he didn’t think the West was to be a “dog” in a manger about a possible settlement and that we “know that Xi[Jinping] has a significant amount of influence over Vladimir Putin”.
The Foreign Secretary was speaking during a trip to the US, where he stressed that both allies must continue to support Ukraine.
China is believed to have adopted a neutral stance against Ukraine. Its president, Xi Jinping , was able to pay a three-day trip to Moscow to Mr Putin in March.
In a recent address to a US think-tank, former Prime Minister Liz Truss called on the West to “get serious” about the danger posed by China.
She cited as an example a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Beijing, calling it a sign of weakness.
Russia faces an ‘imminent victory’ as its forces are resorting to using washing machine parts in weapons. Latest
The foreign secretary did not criticize Britain if Mr Xi chose to use “significant influence” to reach a “just” and “sustainable” peace agreement with Mr Putin.
“I welcome any intervention that brings this war to an end in a fair and sustainable manner, no matter where it comes from,” said Mr Cleverly.
“I don’t believe we should be dog-in-the manger about this. We know Xi has a great deal of influence over Vladimir Putin.
Why would we criticize this intervention if the outcome is positive and he delivers on it? “Those are two big ifs.”
He said: “But, if his intervention can help restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and get Russian troops to leave that country, I won’t criticize that.”
“But there needs to more than just headline-grabbing material, it needs a genuine intervention.”
Cleverly’s speech was made after an escalation in attacks by Russia on Ukrainian civilians over the last few days.
Overnight, more Russian missiles have been fired at the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. This follows a series drone, missile, and airstrike strikes that were launched on Monday in Kharkiv’s, Kherson’s, Mykolaiv’s, and Odesa regions.
The Kremlin has been accused of launching the attacks to capture the narrative in advance of the Second World War Victory Day holiday, which celebrates the defeat of Nazi Germany.
This year’s celebrations were scaled back due to warnings about potential security threats. Analysts claim that only 51 vehicles took part in the procession in 2023, as opposed to the 200 military equipment that was on display in Moscow 3 years ago.
In his speech the Russian President attempted to blame war in Ukraine on “untamed ambitions and arrogance” of the West and claimed that “a real war” was unleashed against Russia. Rishi Sunak denounced these comments.
Cleverly warned the US audience that Kyiv might not be able to achieve the desired breakthrough with its anticipated Spring offensive against Russia.
He warned that the conflict in Ukraine may become “scary”, and the plot might not be like a Hollywood movie, but urged Britain and its allies “to stick with” Kyiv.
“We must acknowledge that there may not be an easy, quick and decisive breakthrough”, Mr Cleverly stated.
“And we must stick to them,” is what we said in the UK.
“Now I expect and hope they will do well, because every time I’ve seen Ukrainians they have exceeded expectations. We must be realistic. This is real life, not Hollywood.
Putin’s grotesque fictions exposed on a Victory Day that has been radically changed
Victory Day was no ordinary parade. Many had bought into the Kremlin narrative
“Things will be scary, complicated, messy, difficult and confusing.”
We need to be prepared for escalatory remarks from Vladimir Putin. We need to remain resolute to do what is right, despite those comments.
When asked if he felt the West’s response to the Russian threat was “commensurate”, Mr Cleverly replied: “There’s a strong argument we shouldn’t empty our respective military cabinets.”
“My answer is: If we’re saving up stuff for a rainy, then this is the day.
The White House announced today a new military aid package worth $1.2bn for Ukraine, which includes artillery and air defence rounds.
Ukraine will receive additional air defense systems and munitions, as well as technology to integrate Western air defense launchers and missiles with Ukraine’s native defence system.