Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky formally invited Chinese leader Xi Jinping to visit Ukraine in an interview with the Associated Press published on Wednesday.
“We are ready to see him here. I want to speak with him. I had contact with him before [the] full-scale war. But during all this year, more than one year, I didn’t have,” Zelensky told the news agency.
Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin are close allies and have strengthened economic and political ties since Moscow invaded Ukraine last year.
Following Xi's state-visit to Moscow earlier this month, the Chinese and Russian leaders reiterated their alignment across a host of issues but their talks yielded no breakthrough on resolving the Ukraine conflict
China has attempted to position itself as a peace broker on Ukraine, releasing its position on a “political solution” to the conflict with calls for a ceasefire and peace talks.
Zelensky on Bakhmut: Speaking about the months-long battle for the eastern city, Zelensky told the AP that a Ukrainian defeat would spur on Russia’s propaganda effort and embolden Putin to “push” forward more aggressively.
“[Putin would] sell this victory to the West, to his society, to China, to Iran…if he will feel some blood — smell that we are weak — he will push, push, push,” he told the AP.