onsdag 2. mars 2022

China 'Regrets' Casualties in Ukraine but Reminds World of Russia's Demands

China has expressed regret over the loss of civilian lives in Ukraine for the first time, on the sixth day of a Russian military campaign that Beijing still refuses to call an invasion.

When Russian forces began bombarding Ukrainian territory on February 24, China's Foreign Ministry bridled at suggestions that there already had been non-military casualties in the conflict. Its tone softened on Tuesday, after the Ukrainian government counted at least 352 civilian deaths, among them 14 children.

"The current situation in Ukraine is a result of many complex historical and realistic factors. China regrets the casualties. The current situation is not what we wanted to see," ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters at a daily press conference. Following inconclusive peace talks mediated by Belarus, China said it "supports and encourages all diplomatic efforts" conducive to ending the crisis. He emphasized the need for restraint on all sides.