France, Baltic states express dismay over Chinese envoy’s position on Ukraine’s sovereignty

Chinese Ambassador in France Lu Shaye attends the MEDEF union summer forum renamed La Rencontre des Entrepreneurs de France, LaREF, at the Paris Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, France. Reuters/File

Paris: The Baltic countries along with France are appalled by China’s ambassador’s comments on the sovereignty of former Soviet states like Ukraine.

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and France have expressed their dismay over Chinese ambassador Lu Shaye’s answer to his position on whether Crimea is part of Ukraine or not. Shaye appeared in an interview that aired on French television last Friday.

He said that Crimea was historically a part of Russia and had been offered to Ukraine by former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

“These ex-USSR countries don’t have actual status in international law because there is no international agreement to materialize their sovereign status,” Shaye added.

France responded on Sunday by stating its “full solidarity” with all the allied countries affected, which it said had acquired their independence “after decades of oppression”.

“On Ukraine specifically, it was internationally recognized within borders including Crimea in 1991 by the entire international community, including China,” a foreign ministry spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that China will have to clarify whether these comments reflect its position or not.

The three Baltic states, all formerly part of the Soviet Union, reacted along the same lines as France.

China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

With inputs from agencies

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