Ukraine has called on China to mediate a ceasefire between Kyiv and Moscow and act as a “security guarantor” for a deal. In the first interview by a senior Ukrainian official with a Chinese state news outlet since Russia’s invasion in late February, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged China to call on Russia for a ceasefire to stop further escalation of the conflict. “This would be an important measure to maintain peace and prevent the humanitarian catastrophe from worsening,” state news agency Xinhua quoted Kuleba as saying. “All sides, including Russia, could have clearly seen that the war against Ukraine is a wrong move. All of the problems and concerns should be resolved via negotiations rather than resorting to displays of force. “We hope China will call on Russia to stop this invasion, lift blockades on international trade and respect the territorial integrity of other nations.” Kuleba delivered a similar message directly to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a phone call last month. Beijing has so far refused to condemn the Russian invasion and rejected calls from the West to impose sanctions on Moscow. There have also been concerns in the West that China could give support to Russia. Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping, have said Beijing is willing to help mediate in the conflict but stressed that it had to be done “in its own way”. EU, US slam China over Russia ties, alleged falsehoods on Ukraine invasion Kuleba said the war had already resulted in a global food security and economic crisis, which was not in China’s interests. “It is likely to pose a severe blow to China’s economy … Without stopping Russia, there will only be more crises in the years to come,” he said in the interview published in Chinese on Saturday. Kuleba said the war had also damaged the implementation of China’s Belt and Road Initiative by threatening regional stability and trade. Asked about plans for long-term stability in Ukraine and Europe, Kuleba proposed that China act as one of its security guarantors. “Ukraine is studying the possibility of securing security assurances from permanent members of the UN Security Council, including China, and other major powers,” he said. “Our proposal for China to be one of the guarantors of Ukraine’s security is a symbol of respect and trust we have for the People’s Republic of China.” This is not the first time that Ukraine has asked for China to help guarantee its security. Andriy Yermak, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in March that Ukraine wanted China to play a more “noticeable role” in halting the war and being a future guarantor of Ukraine’s security. But diplomatic observers have said Beijing is unlikely to do this. Gal Luft, co-director of the Washington-based Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, told the Post last month the idea was a “non-starter”. “Nato has been Ukraine’s de facto security guarantor, and its security guarantees led the country to its destruction,” Luft said. “China will never agree to play such a role. At most, it might take part in a peacekeeping mission, provided this is backed by a UN resolution.” In a commentary published on Friday, Xinhua said China was “doing its best” by making “unremitting efforts to defuse tensions and working actively to promote dialogue”. While China supported Russia and Ukraine in overcoming difficulties and continuing peace talks, “certain US politicians and media outlets” had sought to smear Beijing by fabricating lies, maliciously misinterpreting China-Russia relations and threatening to sanction China, it said.