Russia's Lavrov says Chinese peace plan on Ukraine is most reasonable so far

Reuters: China has proposed the most reasonable peace plan so far for resolving the Ukraine conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying on Thursday.

Beijing put forward a 12-point paper more than a year ago that set out general principles for ending the war but did not get into specifics. It received a lukewarm reception at the time in both Russia and Ukraine, while the United States said China was presenting itself as a peacemaker but reflecting Russia's "false narrative" and failing to condemn its invasion.

"The most important thing for us is that the Chinese document is based on an analysis of the reasons for what is happening and the need to eliminate these root causes. It is structured in logic from the general to the specific," state news agency RIA quoted Lavrov as telling reporters.

"This plan was criticized for being vague... But this is a reasonable plan that the great Chinese civilization proposed for discussion."

Lavrov is due to meet his Chinese counterpart soon and President Vladimir Putin said last month he would consider going to China for the first overseas trip of his new six-year term.

Russia says it is willing to enter talks about Ukraine but that these must reflect what it calls the "new realities" on the ground, where its forces control just under a fifth of the country and Moscow has claimed four Ukrainian regions as its own.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has put forward his own peace formula that calls for a cessation of hostilities and a full Russian withdrawal from all occupied territory.

Praising China's plan provides Moscow with a way to signal that it is open to talking peace while attacking Zelenskiy's initiative, which Lavrov called "a menu from which you can pull out whatever you want".

Switzerland has said it will host a conference based on Zelenskiy's plan, but Russia has called the initiative pointless and said it is doomed to fail without Moscow's participation.

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