Baltics blast China diplomat for questioning sovereignty of ex-Soviet states – POLITICO


The Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are demanding a proof from Beijing after China’s high envoy to France questioned the independence of former Soviet nations like Ukraine.

Lu Shaye, China’s ambassador to France, mentioned in an interview on Friday with French tv community LCI that former Soviet nations haven’t any “efficient standing” in worldwide regulation.

Requested whether or not Crimea belongs to Ukraine, Lu mentioned that “it relies upon the way you understand the issue,” arguing that it was traditionally a part of Russia and supplied to Ukraine by former Soviet chief Nikita Khrushchev.

“In worldwide regulation, even these ex-Soviet Union nations should not have the standing, the efficient [status] in worldwide regulation, as a result of there isn’t a worldwide settlement to materialize their standing as a sovereign nation,” he mentioned.

The feedback sparked outrage amongst Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia — three former Soviet nations.

Latvian International Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs mentioned in a tweet that his ministry summoned “the licensed chargé d’affaires of the Chinese language embassy in Riga on Monday to offer explanations. This step is coordinated with Lithuania and Estonia.”

He known as the feedback “fully unacceptable,” including: “We anticipate rationalization from the Chinese language facet and full retraction of this assertion.”

Margus Tsahkna, Estonia’s overseas minister, known as the feedback “false” and “a misinterpretation of historical past.”

Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuania’s overseas minister, shared the interview on Twitter with the remark: “If anybody continues to be questioning why the Baltic States don’t belief China to “dealer peace in Ukraine,” right here’s a Chinese language ambassador arguing that Crimea is Russian and our nations’ borders haven’t any authorized foundation.”

Kyiv additionally pushed again strongly in opposition to the ambassador’s feedback.

“It’s unusual to listen to an absurd model of the ‘historical past of Crimea’ from a consultant of a rustic that’s scrupulous about its thousand-year historical past,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s workplace, mentioned in a tweet on Sunday. “If you wish to be a significant political participant, don’t parrot the propaganda of Russian outsiders.”

EU overseas coverage chief Josep Borrell known as the remarks “unacceptable” in a tweet on Sunday. “The EU can solely suppose these declarations don’t characterize China’s official coverage,” Borrell mentioned.

France in a press release on Sunday said its “full solidarity” with all of the allied nations affected, which it mentioned had acquired their independence “after a long time of oppression,” in line with Reuters. “On Ukraine particularly, it was internationally acknowledged inside borders together with Crimea in 1991 by your complete worldwide neighborhood, together with China,” a overseas ministry spokesperson was quoted as saying.

The overseas ministry spokesperson additionally known as on China to make clear whether or not the ambassador’s assertion displays its place or not.

The row comes forward of a assembly of EU overseas ministers in Luxembourg on Monday, the place relations with China are on the agenda.


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