First Step Towards Peace? Sergey Lavrov Calls China's Peace Plan 'Reasonable

Written by Henrik Rothen

Apr.06 - 2024 12:21 PM CET

Russia calls China's peace plan 'Reasonable'.

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In a notable development amid the ongoing Ukraine conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has recently spotlighted the Chinese peace plan as the most sensible strategy thus far for resolving the intensifying standoff.

Amidst a backdrop of stalled Ukrainian counter-offensives and uncertain international support, Lavrov's endorsement of the Chinese proposal marks a pivotal moment in the quest for peace.

A Fresh Perspective on Peace

China's 12-point peace blueprint, unveiled last year, initially received mixed reactions, being critiqued for its vagueness and perceived pro-Russia stance.

However, Lavrov’s recent remarks underline a significant shift, emphasizing the proposal’s logical structure and its focus on addressing the root causes of the conflict.

According to Russia’s RIA news agency, Lavrov praised the plan for its comprehensive approach, heralding it as a testament to the "great Chinese civilization."

What Does China's Plan Entail?

China's proposal for peace, floated in February 2023, extends beyond immediate ceasefire calls, envisioning a broader framework for dialogue and reconciliation.

It champions the sovereignty of nations, an end to sanctions against Russia, and calls out the "Cold War mentality," critiquing military expansions, notably NATO's.

Despite criticisms and concerns over its implications for Ukrainian sovereignty, the proposal highlights critical humanitarian issues, advocating for the safety of civilians, prisoners of war, nuclear facilities, and the facilitation of grain exports.

Russia Ready for Talks, with Conditions

Lavrov’s openness to discussions based on the Chinese proposal comes with the caveat of recognizing “new realities” on the ground.

Since the conflict's inception in February 2022, Russia's territorial advances have reshaped the geopolitical landscape, annexing significant portions of Ukraine.

This stance underscores the complex dynamics at play, as Russia seeks dialogue that acknowledges its position of strength.

Global Reactions and Ukrainian Proposals

The global response to China's peace initiative has been lukewarm, with the United States critiquing it for echoing Russia's narratives without condemning the invasion.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has presented its peace framework, emphasizing territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian forces, and ensuring nuclear and food security. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for a "real and complete" cessation of hostilities, highlighting the chasm between the parties' positions.

While China has prepared a peace plan, Turkey has also stepped into the arena to bring the two nations to the negotiation table. Turkey is indeed one of the few NATO countries that maintains a relationship with both Zelensky and Putin.

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