Reinsalu: There is a real risk that China will supply Russia with weapons

Urmas Reinsalu.
Urmas Reinsalu. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The risk that China will start supplying Russia with weapons is real, but there are no known agreements at the moment, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said on Wednesday.

If Russia receives large numbers of weapons from China then it could change the situation in Ukraine - especially if they are high-tech, he told "Ringvaade".

Reinsalu said Western leaders are probably trying to put pressure on China during their visits to the country.

"I hope that frank discussions will also make it known that the Western response to this will be very strong. Above all, perhaps closing down Chinese markets if they should do so," the MP said.

Recent meetings between Chinese and Russian leaders show China wants to be more influential in world affairs, Reinsalu said. The country thinks both the West and Russia expect China to side with them over Ukraine.

But while China's rhetoric has tried to add put distance in its relationship with Russia, actions have been more supportive or, at the least, ambiguous, he said.

Speaking about the French president's recent visit to Beijing, Reinsalu said Emmanuel Macron is trying to establish himself as Europe's top diplomat by pushing for peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia and including China too.

"Many have said that if China were able to end the war so that Russia leaves Ukraine, it would deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. But in reality, the main message in the Chinese peace plan is that hostilities should end, but they have not made it a precondition that Russia should withdraw its troops," Reinsalu said.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Ringvaade

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