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EU to pressure China at summit over its stance on Russia-Ukraine war


Russian President Vladimir Putin (L), and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Alexei Druzhinin | Afp | Getty Images

According to sources familiar with the matter, China is under pressure from the European Union to change its stand on Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine. CNBC was told by CNBC on Friday that this happened ahead of an online meeting between Beijing (Belgium) and Brussels.

Officials from the West are concerned about the possible role of China in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. China’s authorities are yet to condemn Russia for its unprovoked invasion in Ukraine. They have, however, previously expressed concern.upported Moscow’s complaints about NATO expansion.

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U.S. officials have also said that Russia has asked China for military and economic support — something that the Kremlin and Beijing have both denied.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of European Commission are speaking with Li Keqiang (China’s Prime Minister) at 10:30 a.m. Brussels Time and then with Xi Jinping (2 p.m.).

According to an EU official who declined to speak publicly due to the sensitive nature of the talks, “the summit’s goal is to ensure, in a manner, the neutrality China so that they don’t help Russia,” CNBC reported Tuesday.

According to the same official, recent disputes in trade and economic relations between China and EU might have been brought up but Russia is clearly the focus.

CNBC was also informed by a second EU official that they were aware of the talks. He said the summit marked a turning point in EU-China relations. If they [China]According to the second official, “Agreeing with Russia will clearly have a very adverse impact on relations between the EU and Russia.”

An additional EU official preferred not to be identified, stating that the summit was originally meant to promote “small initiatives.” The same official stated that things had changed and that the summit was originally intended to announce “small initiatives.” [western] sanctions.”

Earlier this month, Estonia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Eva-Maria Liimets told CNBC that if China were to help Russia in the invasion of Ukraine then the West should discuss sanctions against Beijing too.

Other options are also available heads of state in the EU urged China last week to use its influence to stop the war in Ukraine.

CNBC spoke with Italy’s Prime Minster last week. Mario DraghiOne commenter said that “China is [the]They are the most important nation, and they could be pivotal in the peace processes, as they have lots of leverage. So we all wait.

CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick heard Tuesday from Luigi Di Maio Italy’s foreign affairs minister: “We have repeatedly solicited all international partners, even actors with which we don’t agree to attain peace and a diplomacy solution.” This effort can include China and Turkey, as well as many other countries.

“It is important that everyone participates in this effort to show solidarity.” [Russian President Vladimir]Di Maio said that Putin believes a diplomatic solution to his problems is better than continuing with the war.

Recent years have been difficult for the EU’s relations with China.

Both signed an investment deal in late 2020 — just before U.S. President Joe BidenThe White House. But the EU, just a couple of months later, decided to freeze the agreement citing concerns over human rights abuses in China.

The recent developments in the European Commission opened a case against ChinaThe World Trade Organization is arguing against discriminatory trade practices towards Lithuania, an EU country.

“Friday’s summit had the purpose of being an opportunity for us to look back on a year worth of EU-China tensions and create new ground for cooperation. The Russian attack on Ukraine and China’s refusal of condemning Moscow’s attack have “decimated European hopes for a reset,” Eurasia Group’s analysts wrote Tuesday.

The two men added that the European disappointment over Ukraine and stronger transatlantic unity than in 20+ years will help to strengthen EU-US cooperation towards Beijing.

After Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, the transatlantic relationship improved. Their foreign policy disagreements over Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan during the summer 2021 led to a better understanding between the two countries. controversial submarine deal between the U.S. and Australia that angered FranceThere seems to have been more collaboration between Washington, DC and Brussels.

They’ve coordinated sanctions against Russia. The U.S. currently works with the EU to make it more independent of Russian energy.