Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is looking for an opportunity to talk directly with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"I would like to talk to the Chinese president directly. I had one conversation with Xi Jinping, that was a year ago. Since the beginning of the Russian large-scale aggression on February 24, we have officially asked for a conversation, but we have not had a single conversation with China, although I believe that this would be useful," the Ukrainian President said in an interview with the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post.
According to Zelensky, there are several topics which he wants to discuss with the Chinese President, and the most important one is China's economic ties with Russia. Zelensky believes that China has economic levers to put pressure on the Russian Federation.
"I am sure that without the Chinese market, Russia would feel completely isolated economically. This is what China can do - to limit trade with Russia until the end of the war," Zelensky said, noting that due to rising energy prices, Russia currently is making super profits. However, Moscow does not consider it necessary to spend money on the needs of Russians, who, according to Zelensky, often don’t have necessities for a normal human life. Moscow prefers to invest additional funds in the production of weapons to continue its aggression against Ukraine.
"This is what needs to be stopped," Zelensky said.
The Ukrainian President reiterated his recent warning about the long-term consequences of the war for global food and energy security. He assured that in the near future the Chinese economy will feel the negative impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
"Countries will have to pay for energy, not for goods coming from China. Exports from China will decline. This is 100 percent," he said, noting that China will not be able to stay away from the war that shook the whole world.
"I understand that China wants to maintain a "neutral" attitude towards the war, but I think it is important to note that the conflict was based on Russia's unprovoked invasion of the sovereign territory of Ukraine. The Russians are invaders. This is a war in our territory, they came to kill. China, as a large and powerful country, can intervene and put the Russian Federation in its place. And of course, I would very much like China to reconsider its attitude towards the Russian Federation," Zelensky said.
The Ukrainian president also touched on the reports that Moscow, which is currently facing tough Western sanction, buys semiconductors from Asian countries. Russia uses these semiconductors to produce weapons. As Zelensky noted, after the invasion, the world's largest chipmakers began to haling supplies to Russia, which for a long time depended on imports of semiconductors purchased from Asian and Western companies.
Zelensky said that Ukrainian intelligence officers "work as effectively as Chinese" and his administration is well aware which countries Moscow has turned to for help in this matter.
Nevertheless, the President of Ukraine assured that he would not like to blame the governments of Asian countries that help Russia circumvent Western sanctions.
"I would like to focus on uniting the whole world against Russian tyranny, and not undermine unity by saying that one country helps us, and the other does not," he said.
Referring to the data of the Ukrainian Embassy in China, Zelensky noted that in 2021 China was the main trading partner of Ukraine with a turnover of almost $ 19 billion. At the same time, President Xi Jinping is one of the few world leaders who has never visited Ukraine.
Concluding, Zelensky expressed hope that relations between Ukraine and China will develop and strengthen every year.