China has disavowed remarks made by its envoy to France that questioned the sovereignty of Ukraine and other former Soviet member states after triggering a backlash from European leaders.
China’s embassy in Paris said Tuesday that ambassador Lu Shaye’s comments on Ukraine were “not a statement of policy, but a personal expression of opinion” that should not be over-interpreted by any parties.
“China respects the sovereign status of the republics after the disintegration of the Soviet Union,” the embassy said in a statement.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Beijing reaffirmed its stance on the Russia-Ukraine war, saying that it was willing to work with the international community “to promote a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.”
This came after Lu’s interview with French media on April 21, where he said that Crimea was historically a part of Russia and that ex-Soviet states have no effective status in international law, sparking outrage among European capitals.
“In international law, even these ex-Soviet Union countries do not have the status, the effective status, in international law, because there is no international agreement to materialize their status of a sovereign country,” he said.
Read more: China Backtracks Envoy’s Remarks Denying Sovereignty of ex-Soviet States After European Backlash