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HomeWorldLive updates: Russia's war in Ukraine

Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

5:45 a.m. ET, September 17, 2023

Pope’s peace envoy returns from Ukraine talks in China

By Barbie Nadeau and CNN’s Radina Gigova

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Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, Pope Francis’ peace envoy to Ukraine, returned Friday from a three-day trip to Beijing and called on all sides to engage in negotiations that could end Russia’s war.

When it comes to pursuing peace diplomatically, Zuppi said, “the ball is not just in Ukraine’s court.”

“Everyone must play,” the peace envoy said, according to the Vatican News service. “Ukraine has already made a commitment and presented its proposals. In reality, everyone must participate in the search for peace.”

During a visit to Russia in June, the cardinal met with Kremlin foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and Maria Llova-Belova, the government official at the center of an alleged plot to deport forces thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia. .

In early June, Zuppi also traveled to kyiv to meet with Ukrainian officials.

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The peace envoy said efforts to seek a diplomatic solution to the war in Ukraine have received “considerable attention from the Chinese government.”

Some context: Ukraine and its Western allies have long expressed hope that China and its leader Xi Jinping, who describes himself as a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, can play a role in nudging Moscow toward peace.

So far, however, its claims of neutrality and a vaguely worded 12-point position paper on a “political solution” to the conflict – which did not acknowledge that Russia invaded Ukraine’s territory – have been met with skepticism.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has long expressed concerns about negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin, pointing to his past record of reneging on deals.

“When you want to reach an agreement or dialogue with someone, you can’t do it with a liar,” Zelensky told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in an interview in kyiv last week.

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Russia has blamed Ukraine for not coming to the negotiating table.

CNN’s Nectar Gan and Simone McCarthy contributed reporting to this publication.



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