China speaks out against sanctions over Ukraine — Analysis

Beijing believes the West should address Moscow’s “legitimate security demands”

China claimed Saturday that Western sanctions placed on Russia in response to its military intervention in Ukraine would not help solve the problem. Moscow was subject to high-profile restrictions by many nations, which have also impacted its trade, banks and biggest airline. Foreign Minister Wang Yi made his comments during a phone call with his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock.

According to Chinese Foreign Ministry Wang claimed that “China doesn’t support the use of sanctions to solve problems, and even more so opposes unilateral sanctions that have no basis in international law.”

“It’s been long proven that sanctions not only fail to solve [existing] problems, but create news ones, resulting ‘lose-lose’ effects on the economy and interfering in the process of political settlement,”He concluded.

China is opposed to both sanctions and force against Ukraine, the minister stated. He argued that Russia’s “legitimate security demands” on NATO’s eastward expansion “should be properly addressed.” Moscow said it seeks legally binding assurances that NATO will never accept Ukraine as a member state and will pull its troops from Eastern Europe – demands that the US-led bloc rejects.

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Following the launch of a military offensive against Kiev by Thursday, US, Britain, EU and many other countries put new and severe sanctions on Moscow. Russia argued that the move was necessary to defend the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which broke off from Ukraine after the 2014 coup in Kiev. Ukraine stated that Russia attacked Ukraine without any prior warning.

Russia blocked a UN Security Council Resolution condemning the operation in Ukraine. China, however, abstained.

Berlin said that during her telephone call with Wang Baerbock was mentioned by Berlin “stressed that China bears a special responsibility” for the events in Ukraine as a permanent member of the UN’s top decision-making body.

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