Russian President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Moscow, during which they discuss Beijing’s Ukraine peace proposal, suggests that China is playing a more active role in trying to resolve the conflict.
However, Ukraine and the UK have also called on China to pressure Moscow to end the war, indicating that Russia’s actions are still a major obstacle to peace.
Meanwhile, the opening of a criminal case by Russia’s Investigative Committee against the International Criminal Court prosecutor and judges who issued an arrest warrant for Putin is a concerning development for international justice. The Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, Karim Khan, has called it a “sombre” moment and urged the Kremlin to allow Ukrainian children abducted to Russia to return home.
In terms of Ukraine’s position, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, Oleksiy Danilov, has reiterated that any peace plan must ensure the withdrawal of Russian troops from all Ukrainian territory and the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.
Finally, Putin’s statement that Russia would provide grain to African countries for free if the Black Sea grain deal is not extended in May is an interesting development in Russia’s economic relations with other countries. However, it remains to be seen how this proposal would be implemented and what its broader implications might be.