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Kremlin Sees No Prospect of Chinese Mediation on Ukraine

Russian military man at the front in Ukraine. Stanislav Krasilnikov / TASS

The Kremlin on Thursday said it saw no "prospect" for China to mediate the Ukraine conflict and that it had "no other way" than to press on with its offensive.

The comments came as French President Emmanuel Macron was in Beijing to try to dissuade China from supporting Moscow's campaign. 

"Undoubtedly, China has a very effective and commanding potential for mediation," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. 

"But the situation with Ukraine is complex, so far there are no prospects for a political settlement," he said. 

He was asked about China's potential role of mediator after Macron told Chinese leader Xi Jinping he was counting on him to "bring Russia to its senses."

Xi visited Moscow last month, during which he and Russian President Vladimir Putin presented a united front against the West. 

China has outlined a proposal for peace in Ukraine, but it remains vague and the United States has dismissed it as opening the path for Russia to keep territories it has seized. 

China has been officially neutral on Ukraine and Xi has not condemned the Russian offensive. He has not, however, spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.  

"At the moment, there are no other ways for us aside from the continuation of the special military operation," Peskov also said, using the Kremlin term for its offensive. 

President Putin meanwhile met the leaders of four Ukrainian regions — Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson — that he claimed to have annexed despite never fully controlling. 

"Our goal is to push (Ukraine's forces) back to a distance where they won't be able to inflict any damage on us," he said.

The televised talks otherwise bore a striking resemblance to Putin's usual meetings with the heads of other Russian regions.

The leaders made a point of discussing snowfall, gas distribution and vegetable storage, with almost no mention of the armed conflict.

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