Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Sunday that the West would be drawn into World War III if talks between himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin failed.
Zelensky’s comments come as Turkey claims Moscow and Kiev are close to an agreement on key points, even as the Kremlin turns to “more destructive artillery” following the revelation that the Russian military had used hypersonic “Kinzhal” missiles at least twice to strike Ukrainian targets.
But while Zelensky prepares to continue speaking to world leaders next week (he’s set to speak to Italian lawmakers and leaders early this coming week), UK PM Boris Johnson said Sunday that China must condemn Russia’s attacks, or risk spreading “evil” across the world.
According to the Times of London, BoJo delivered a “forthright message” to Beijing over the weekend, exhorting President Xi and the Politburo not to “choose the side of evil”
There were now “considerable dilemmas” for those who thought they could sit on the fence, the prime minister said, adding: “I think that in Beijing you are starting to see some second thoughts.”
Johnson was speaking on the return leg of a globe-trotting trip to the Middle East, where he met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to plead with the Saudis to ramp up oil production (something they have been loathe to do).
The PM has been experiencing increasing backlash from both political supporters and opponents alike in recent weeks after he clumsily compared Ukraine’s battle against the Russian invasion with the UK’s decision to leave the EU, according to the FT.
Beijing, meanwhile, has taken umbrage at Western insinuations that it has somehow helped or encouraged the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
During a Sunday appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Ambassador Qin Gang said “there’s disinformation about China providing military assistance to Russia,” adding that China isn’t currently sending “weapons and ammunitions to any party.”
The interview comes as China attempts to balance its relationships with the US and Russia, with Qin claiming that its “common interests” with Russia are “not a liability.”