China comments on Western sanctions against Russia

Beijing claims that restrictions will not solve problems in Ukraine

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it opposes the use of unilateral sanctions to resolve the crisis in Ukraine after Russia’s decision to launch an attack on the country with the stated goal to “demilitarize” it. Western powers have announced a raft of punitive measures, including on the Russian economy and its banking sector.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular news briefing that sanctions will not solve problems but will create new ones. He claimed that sanctions will interfere with the process of reaching a ceasefire and political agreement to end the conflict.

“China does not support the use of sanctions to solve the problem and is even more opposed to unilateral sanctions that have no basis in international law,” Wang stated.

On Friday, China denied that it was somehow “stained by association” for failing to denounce Russia over its massive assault on neighboring Ukraine.

Ministry spokesman Wang told reporters at a daily briefing in Beijing that it was countries that interfered in the domestic affairs of others that would see their reputations stained, refuting US President Joe Biden’s comments on the issue from a day prior. 

The West has introduced wide-ranging sanctions on Russia, sending the ruble into freefall. NATO powers have agreed to cut a number of Russian banks from the SWIFT financial system for international payments.
On Thursday, Russia launched a full-scale military attack against Ukraine.

The move came after Moscow formally recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk breakaway republics in the Donbass, accusing Kiev of failing in its obligations under the Minsk agreements struck in 2014 and 2015 to resolve conflict between separatists and the Ukrainian government.

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