In a phone call on Thursday, Feb. 24, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed the situation in Ukraine with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi (王毅).

Both foreign ministers agreed that Kiev’s refusal to carry out the Minsk agreements, which the UN approved, is the cause of the current crisis. They also shared the opinion that Kiev’s refusal was encouraged by the United States and its allies, NATO.

On Monday, Feb. 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized two Ukraine’s separatist regions – Donetsk and Luhansk, as independent, a move that is escalating the ongoing tensions between the two countries and paves the way for Russia’s invasion of its neighbor.

Furthermore, Wang told Lavrov that China understands Moscow’s so-called “legitimate concerns on security issues” over Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement:

“An exchange of views took place concerning the current situation in eastern Ukraine following Russia’s recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, and President Vladimir Putin’s decision to respond to the appeal of the DPR and LPR heads, with the sanction of the Russian Federation Council of the Federal Assembly, by a special military operation to protect people, including hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens, from a real threat to their life and security, coming from the current Ukrainian regime, which does not abandon attempts to solve the Donbas crisis by force”.

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