US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday said that the concerns of China and India about Russia’s war in Ukraine are reflective of the global apprehension about the months-long conflict, and said he believes “it increases the pressure on Russia to end the aggression.”
“I think what you’re seeing is just a manifestation of the fact that this aggression has been an aggression against the interests of people across the planet,” Blinken said at a press conference at the State Department.
As the West has worked to isolate Vladimir Putin over his country’s invasion of Ukraine, the Russian President has further turned to nations like China.
However, during a Thursday meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Putin acknowledged Beijing’s “questions and concerns” about the war, which Russia continues to claim is a “special military operation.”
And in a striking rebuke Friday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had remained quiet on the topic, told the Russian President that “today’s era is not of war.”
“We have talked to you many times over the phone on the subject that democracy and diplomacy and dialogue are all these things that touch the world,” Modi told Putin in Uzbekistan.
Putin was quoted by the Kremlin as telling the Indian leader, “I know your position regarding the conflict in Ukraine, your concerns which you continuously express. We will do everything for all of this to end as soon as possible.”
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Friday she believes the relationship between Moscow and Beijing is one “of convenience, not necessarily one of trust or one that will combine their efforts on all things.”
“This is not a full-flown marriage in all ways, shapes and form, but they are certainly going to work together, but they will also work for advantage with each other,” Sherman said in a conversation with Washington Post Live.
“It was quite interesting that President Putin made a remark that he knew that Xi Jinping had concerns about what he was doing in Ukraine,” she said. “Very interesting for Putin to say that.”
Sherman said she is “sure that Xi Jinping is looking for advantage while Russia is continuing its unprovoked, premeditated and horrifying invasion of Ukraine, a sovereign country.”
“Xi Jinping has constantly talked about sovereignty and territorial integrity so this doesn’t square with the principles he wants for his own views, whether it’s about Hong Kong or Tibet or Taiwan,” she said.
Blinken on Friday echoed that the Russian war is “an aggression not just against Ukraine and its people, it’s an aggression against the very principles of international relations that help keep peace and security,”
He said the war in Ukraine is a violation of the UN charter, calling Russia “the number one violator of the charter right now.”
“And of course, all of the impacts that this is having, including, for example, on food insecurity. We’ve spent a lot of time, a lot of focus in recent months in trying to address the challenges to food security that were exacerbated dramatically by Russia’s aggression. We already had Covid, we already had climate change that were having profound effects on food insecurity. Add to that conflict, we now have well over 200 million people who are severely food insecure,” Blinken said.
“This is something that leaders in countries around the world are feeling because their people are feeling it. And so and I think it increases the pressure on Russia to end the aggression,” he said.
CNN’s Uliana Pavlova and Rishabh Pratap contributed to this report.