China envoy criticized over Crimea remarks

World 20:18 23.04.2023
Beijing's ambassador to Paris said ex-Soviet states don't have "actual status" under international law. Meanwhile, G7 leaders called for an expansion of the Ukraine grain export deal. DW has the latest,  Ednews reports citing DW.
 
France on Sunday expressed its dismay after China's ambassador to Paris questioned the sovereignty of former Soviet countries like Ukraine.
 
When asked if he believed Crimea is part of Ukraine or not, Ambassador Lu Shaye told French television that historically it was part of Russia and had been offered to Ukraine by former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.
 
"These ex-USSR countries don't have actual status in international law because there is no international agreement to materialize their sovereign status," Lu added, in Friday's interview.
 
Paris hit back Sunday by stating its "full solidarity" with all the allied countries affected, which it said had acquired their independence "after decades of oppression."
 
"On Ukraine specifically, it was internationally recognized within borders including Crimea in 1991 by the entire international community, including China," a spokesperson for France's foreign ministry said.
 
The spokesperson added that China will have to clarify whether these comments reflect its official position or not.
 
The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which were all formerly part of the Soviet Union, reacted along the same lines as France.
 
"We expect an explanation and a complete retraction of this statement from the Chinese side," Latvia's Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said.
 
Estonia's Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna slammed the remarks as "incomprehensible." 
 
Ukraine also condemned the envoy's comments, with Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak calling it "absurd."
 
He also emphasized that the status of post-Soviet countries had been "enshrined in international law."

 

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