Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has sent an official invitation to Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who last week made a three-day visit to the Russian Federation and met with Vladimir Putin.
"We are ready to see Xi Jinping. I want to talk to him," Zelensky said in an interview with Associated Press.
The Ukrainian President said that before the beginning of the full-scale war, he was in contact with the President of the People's Republic of China, but there have been no contacts since the beginning of the Russian invasion .
The Associated Press added that China "favors Russia" and has long provided Putin with a diplomatic cover, taking an official position of neutrality in the war. The news agency suggested that the Kremlin had tried to negotiate with Beijing to secure weapons and ammunition shipments.
"But Xi Jinping's trip to Moscow ended without such an announcement. A few days later, Putin announced that he would deploy tactical nuclear weapons in neighbouring Belarus and bring the Kremlin's nuclear arsenals closer to NATO territory, " said the Associated Press.
Zelensky, in turn, suggested that Putin's move was aimed at diverting the attention of the world community from the guarantees that Putin did not receive from Xi Jinping.
"What does that mean? So, the visit did not benefit Russia," Zelensky said.
He added that if Ukrainian forces fail to hold on to Bakhmut, Putin "will sell this victory to the West, his society, China, Iran."
"If he feels blood - he feels that we are weak - he will press, press, press," Zelensky said.