Photo used for illustrative purpose.
In an interview with the Russian state news agency TASS published on Wednesday, China’s ambassador to Moscow, Zhang Hanhui, accused Washington of backing Russia into a corner with repeated expansions of the Nato defence alliance and support for forces seeking to align Ukraine with the European Union rather than Moscow.
“As the initiator and main instigator of the Ukrainian crisis, Washington, while imposing unprecedented comprehensive sanctions on Russia, continues to supply arms and military equipment to Ukraine,” Zhang was quoted as saying.
“Their ultimate goal is to exhaust and crush Russia with a protracted war and the cudgel of sanctions.”
The ambassador’s reasoning closely followed one of Russia’s own justifications of its invasion of Ukraine, which has resulted in thousands of deaths and the devastation of entire cities, as well as driving more than a quarter of the population to flee their homes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin travelled to Beijing in February to meet President Xi Jinping as Russian tanks were massing on the Ukrainian border, agreeing what both states hailed as a “no limits” partnership superior to any Cold War alliance.
In the interview, Zhang said Sino-Russian relations had entered “the best period in history, characterised by the highest level of mutual trust, the highest degree of interaction, and the greatest strategic importance.”
He railed against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit last week to self-governing Taiwan, which China claims as its own, and said the United States was trying to apply the same tactics in Ukraine and Taiwan to “revive a Cold War mentality, contain China and Russia, and provoke major power rivalry and confrontation.”
“Non-intervention in internal affairs is the most fundamental principle of maintaining peace and stability in our world,” Zhang said, applying the principle to criticise Washington’s Taiwan policy but not Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine accused Russia on Wednesday of exploiting its capture of a nuclear power plant to fire rockets at a nearby town in an attack that killed at least 13 people and wounded many others.
The Group of Seven industrialised nations also condemned Russia’s occupation of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant and called on Moscow to immediately hand back full control of the plant to Ukraine.
Ukrainian staff operating the plant “must be able to carry out their duties without threats or pressure. It is Russia’s continued control of the plant that endangers the region,” the G7 foreign ministers said in a statement.
The first grain ship to leave Ukraine under a UN-backed deal last week docked in Turkey on Wednesday, marine traffic sites showed, following a report that it has finally found a buyer for its maize.
The Sierra Leone-flagged vessel Razoni left the Ukrainian port of Odessa on Aug.1 carrying 26,000 tonnes of corn and had been expected to dock in the Lebanese port of Tripoli last weekend. But Ukrainian officials said the shipment’s five-month delay caused by Russia’s invasion prompted the Lebanese buyer to cancel the deal once the ship was already at sea.
"Regrettably, instead of de-escalation, over the past several days there have been reports of further deeply worrying incidents that could, if they continue, lead to disaster," Antonio Guterres said in a statement.
Peace talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials resumed via video, but Moscow warned that the helicopter attack on a fuel depot in the town of Belgorod would hamper negotiations.
The Arab League (AL) says the foreign ministers of Egypt, Algeria, Iraq, Jordan and Sudan met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Ahemd Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, also joined the meeting.
Caretaker Information Minister Amir Mir confirmed Elahi's arrest, saying he was in his vehicle and "trying to flee" when he was arrested.
Social media users reacted strongly to the video and the villagers' predicament with comments slamming the concerned authorities for reneging on their promise to provide good rural connectivity.
The marriage of Crown Prince Hussein, 28, and Saudi architect Rajwa Al Saif, 29, drew a star-studded guest list including Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, as well as US First Lady Jill Biden.
The authorities said that after the issuance of the visit visa, the tourist must enter the country within 60 days from the date of issuance, and the validity of the entry permit will be 30 days or 60 days, depending on the visa sought.