German Leader Applies Pressure on China to Reign In Russia

( – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has asked China to persuade Russia to end the war in Ukraine. Scholz emphasized to Chinese leader Xi Jinping that the ongoing conflict threatens regional and global stability and invited Xi to exert influence over Russian leader Vladimir Putin, a key Chinese ally.

The two leaders met in Beijing on April 16, and according to German government transcripts, Mr. Scholz immediately raised Putin’s statements that he is willing to use nuclear weapons. Scholz said such devastation should not even be discussed theoretically.

In March, immediately before he was re-elected for a six-year term, Vladimir Putin declared that Moscow would utilize devastating weapons if Russian sovereignty came under threat. A month earlier, during an annual address to the Russian people, he warned that the West’s involvement in the Ukraine war risks sparking nuclear conflict. In a more recent interview, however, the Russian President said he does not believe the world will go in that direction.

Mr. Putin credited US President Joe Biden for understanding the dangers of conflict escalation and believes President Biden will work to prevent global war.

Meanwhile, Poland and Germany have ruled out sending troops to Ukraine after high-profile suggestions of greater European involvement. French President Emmanuel Macron, for example, came under fire in February for hinting that the European Union may need to send ground troops to aid Ukrainian forces.

Macron acknowledged a lack of support for the idea among European leaders but insisted the option should remain on the table.

More recently, however, German and Polish leaders confirmed this was not on their radar. “There will be no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil who are sent there by European states or NATO states,” Mr. Scholz said.

NATO also confirmed it has no intention of sending personnel reinforcements to Ukraine after Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said such a move would bring NATO and Russia into direct conflict and potentially spark a third world war.

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