The Chinese special envoy talked with the Russian foreign minister for 90 minutes, and the Kremlin still did not give permission to see Putin

After a 10-day visit to Europe, Li Hui, the special representative of the Chinese government for Eurasian affairs, finally arrived in Russia a few days ago. According to the news released by the Russian side, Li Hui did not meet Russian President Vladimir Putin immediately during his trip. , but held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and his deputy foreign minister. Russian media noticed that the Chinese special envoy stayed in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for about an hour and a half. However, after the 90-minute closed-door meeting ended, he did not make any external comments and left soon.

【Lavrov Meets with Special Envoy Li Hui】

Of course, not long after that, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the relevant content of this dialogue. The two sides discussed the prospect of resolving the Russia-Ukraine conflict this time. Russia thanks China for its balanced stance in the Ukraine crisis and is willing to further strengthen bilateral foreign policy cooperation. In addition, Lavrov also reiterated Russia’s commitment to resolve the conflict in Ukraine in a political-diplomatic manner. It is not difficult to see from the statement that the Russian side is very clear about what the Chinese side wants to hear and what it wants during this trip.

In addition, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister also said that the Russian side would like to hear Li Hui’s thoughts on his visit to Ukraine and other European countries. This is very important, and it is also one of the reasons why we put our visit to Russia as the last stop. Because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Russia and Europe currently lack frank interactions at the diplomatic level. The main means of communication is basically based on exchanging harsh words across the air. This naturally does not help the peaceful resolution of the Ukrainian crisis. Risk of escalation of disputes. The Chinese special envoy played the role of a matchmaker. While conveying the positions of Europe and Ukraine to Russia, it also helped Russia understand the changes in wind direction outside the battlefield.

[After the closed-door talks, Li Hui left the Russian Foreign Ministry]

So far, Special Envoy Li Hui’s foreign visit can be said to be coming to an end. The only variable is whether he will meet Putin next. However, the Kremlin has never made a clear statement, and it cannot be ruled out that it is because of a conflict in the schedule or other reasons.

But it is worth mentioning that when Special Envoy Li Hui arrived in Ukraine, he not only met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba, but also met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and basically met with other senior Ukrainian government officials, including The top leaders of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ministry of Energy, and Ministry of Defense. The reason why the Ukrainian side has put forward such a grand specification is that on the one hand, it has expectations for China’s position, and on the other hand, it also intends to promote the comprehensive and in-depth development of Sino-Ukrainian relations.

[Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba met with Li Hui]

Although the main purpose of Special Envoy Li Hui’s foreign visit is to accumulate conditions for peaceful negotiations, two-way diplomatic relations are the basic premise. The higher the level of cooperation, the greater the room for finding consensus. The reason why China has the confidence to take the initiative to mediate between Russia and Ukraine is not only an impartial and neutral stance, but also a good relationship with all parties to the conflict is also an important reason.

It is not difficult to see that Ukraine and Russia have the highest standards for receiving Chinese special envoys. As for the representatives sent by Poland, France, Germany, and the European Union, the levels are not too high. This also shows that the focus of foreign visits is to a large extent concentrated on Russia and Ukraine, and the main purpose of visiting European countries is to exchange views and clarify positions.

However, these countries also have special significance for the Ukrainian crisis: Poland is an Eastern European country and a neighboring country of Ukraine. It is infinitely close to the front line of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. If Russia and Ukraine want to establish a peace negotiation mechanism, they must also respect Poland’s security concerns. ;As for France and Germany, both are very influential Western European countries in the EU, and the level of mutual trust and cooperation with China is relatively high. If China and the EU want to join forces to set the tone for Russia and Ukraine, they must first communicate with these two countries .

【Special Envoy Li Hui holds talks with the French side】

In addition, when the special envoy was visiting and engaged in diplomatic interactions with the countries involved in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Russia and Ukraine were not idle on the frontal battlefield, and they were also fighting fiercely. The offensive and defensive situation on the local battlefield changed unexpectedly quickly. A week after the Russian army announced the capture of Bakhmut, Ukraine officially announced the start of a counter-offensive operation. It is expected that the two sides will continue to see each other for a while. When the situation on the battlefield is clear and a certain party achieves major results and achieves strategic goals, neither Ukraine nor Russia may be willing to actively negotiate.

However, work at the diplomatic level still needs to be done. It is precisely because the battlefield situation is so stalemate that a positive and rational diplomatic attitude is commendable and can effectively avoid the escalation of conflicts. Originally, we did not expect that a single foreign visit would allow the parties to the conflict to put aside their prejudices, sell China’s face, and sit at the negotiating table to shake hands and make peace. This is unrealistic and does not conform to the basic logic of international relations. China’s international influence has not yet reached this level. After all, we are not a country involved in the conflict, so we can only uphold the stance of promoting peace and talks, and provide general directions and reference plans. Special Envoy Li Hui also did the same during his foreign visit. If you look closely at his statements during the visit, you will find many meaningful details.

【Special Envoy Li Hui is at the EU Headquarters, and Ambassador Fu Cong also participated in the talks】

As for Ukraine, the Chinese special envoy said: there is no panacea to resolve the crisis, all parties should start from themselves, accumulate mutual trust, and create conditions for peace talks. I believe that the stance on Russia is not bad. The key is to grasp the key word “start with yourself”, because Russia and Ukraine are the most direct parties. No matter who it is, it is not advisable to expect external forces to intervene to break the balance, and it is not conducive to the long-term resolution of the crisis.

Several European countries, including Poland, France and Germany, as well as a temporary visit to the EU headquarters in Brussels, all mentioned the construction of the European continent’s security architecture and long-term law and order. The implication of the Chinese side may be that this process cannot be separated from the participation of Russia. It is not only Russia and Ukraine that need to build mutual trust, but also Russia and Europe.