China says Minsk Agreement is 'only way out' of Ukraine crisis

Independence and territorial integrity of any country should be respected, Foreign Minister Wang Yi tells Munich Security Conference

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said certain big powers were reviving a cold war mentality and stoking confrontations between blocs.  Reuters
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The Minsk Agreement is the "only way out" for resolving the Ukraine situation, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the Munich Security Conference on Saturday amid mounting fears of a Russian invasion following a months-long military build-up on the Ukrainian border.

Addressing the conference via video link, Mr Wang said the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of any country should be respected and safeguarded and that Ukraine should not be a front line for competition among major powers.

He said all parties should sit down to have in-depth discussion, and come up with a road map and timetable for application of the Minsk Agreement, which sought to end a separatist conflict in the pro-Russian eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Among other provisions, the agreement reached in 2014 and updated the following year called for an immediate ceasefire and greater self-governance in the pro-Russian areas, collectively known as Donbass.

Mr Wang was speaking after a surge in violent incidents in Ukraine's east since Friday, which western leaders feared could provide the trigger for Russia to send its troops across the border.

Russia denies planning to invade Ukraine and said it would withdraw its troops if Nato scrapped plans to induct Ukraine as a member and reduced its presence in eastern Europe.

The Western military alliance has rejected Moscow's demands.

Mr Wang said on Saturday that certain big powers were reviving a cold war mentality and stoking confrontations between blocs.

"No country should be obsessed with turning back the wheel of history and repeating past mistakes of forging rivalling alliances," he said.

Updated: February 19, 2022, 2:36 PM
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