Monday, May 6

Baltics condemn China envoy’s stance on ex-Soviet nations

HELSINKI — The three Baltic states have strongly condemned feedback by China’s envoy to France, who appeared to recommend in a current French tv interview that former Soviet republics aren’t sovereign nations.

The overseas ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in separate bulletins late Saturday deemed statements by Lu Shaye, China’s ambassador to France, as unacceptable.

In a current interview with the French information channel LCI, he was requested if he thought that the Crimean Peninsula belongs to Ukraine. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a transfer that many of the world denounced as unlawful.

“That depends … on how one perceives this problem,” the envoy informed the broadcaster. “There’s the history. Crimea was at the beginning Russian, no? It was (Soviet leader Nikita) Khrushchev who gave Crimea to Ukraine in the era of the Soviet Union.”

When the channel’s presenter famous that in keeping with worldwide regulation, Crimea is a part of Ukraine, the Chinese ambassador drew a parallel to the previous Soviet republics – together with the three Baltic nations – that broke free after the USSR collapsed in 1991.

“With regards to international law, even these ex-Soviet Union countries, they do not, they do not have the status – how to say it? – that’s effective in international law, because there is no international agreement to solidify their status as a sovereign country,” he mentioned.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis tweeted that “If anyone is still wondering why the Baltic States don’t trust China to ‘broker peace in Ukraine,’ here’s a Chinese ambassador arguing that Crimea is Russian and our countries’ borders have no legal basis.”

His Estonian counterpart, Margus Tsahkna, mentioned Chinese ambassador’s feedback have been “false and a misinterpretation of history,” whereas Latvian Foreign Minister Edgar Rinkevics mentioned that the statements have been “completely unacceptable.”

Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius would every summon China’s ambassador or consultant for an evidence of the envoy’s feedback, the three Baltic nations mentioned. European Union and NATO members Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania regained their independence in 1991 amid the autumn of the Soviet Union after almost 5 many years of Moscow’s rule.

In a separate assertion, France’s Foreign Ministry expressed concern concerning the ambassador’s feedback about ex-Soviet states and mentioned: “It’s for China to say whether these comments reflect its position, which we hope is not the case.”

The French ministry mentioned these nations gained independence “after decades of oppression” and that within the particular case of Ukraine, “the entirety of the international community, including China,” acknowledged its borders, together with Crimea, when it declared independence in 1991.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia, which is China’s ally, has mentioned a number of occasions that he doesn’t acknowledge the sovereignty of Ukraine. The Kremlin additionally has made clear that it perceives the independence of the Baltic states and their energetic position in NATO and the EU as threats to Russia’s safety.


John Leicester contributed to this report from Paris.

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