NATO’s eastward expansion is directly linked to the current Ukrainian crisis, and the key to resolving it is in the hands of the alliance and especially Washington, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Thursday.
“The key to solving the Ukraine crisis is in the hands of the US and NATO. We hope the US and NATO, the culprits of the crisis, can reflect upon their roles in the Ukraine crisis. They should earnestly shoulder due responsibilities and take real actions to ease the situation, resolve the problem and end the conflict in Ukraine at an early date,” Zhao told a briefing.
The spokesman went on to say that over the past decades, many well-known international experts have stressed that further NATO expansion against Russia would be a “fateful error” in the US policy, but Washington “turned a deaf ear to this, and was bent on advancing NATO’s eastward expansion, for five times already.”
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“The US’ decision on NATO’s eastward expansion is directly linked to the Ukraine crisis now,” the diplomat added.
Zhao stressed that the US and NATO stance concerning the civilian casualties in Ukraine is hypocritical, saying they did not show concern over the death of civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, and Yugoslavia.
“When it comes to civilian casualties and humanitarian situation, I wonder if you were equally concerned about the people in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Palestine. … Do not forget Serbia in 1999, or Yugoslavia. Did you show any care about civilian casualties there? … But the US, NATO and some western media are very hypocritical, especially as some reports smack of racism.
We suggest some media focus more efforts on things that are conducive to promoting peace. They may advise the US and NATO countries not to supply ammunition or add fuel to the flame, but to sit down and build peace by talking with Europe, Russia and Ukraine,” the spokesman said.
Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24 in response to calls from the Donbas republics for protection against intensifying attacks by Ukrainian troops.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the special operation targets Ukrainian military infrastructure only and aims to “demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine, adding that the civilian population is not in danger.
Western nations have since imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Russia.