Russia, China agree that Moscow must be at Ukraine talks

 A fire in a destroyed private house following a Russian strike in Kupiansk, Nov. 9, 2023. [AFP]

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin and China's special representative for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, said it is impossible to discuss a Ukraine settlement without Moscow's participation, the Russian foreign ministry said Sunday.

The Chinese envoy met with Galuzin during his second trip to Europe promoting a political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, a tour that will also include Poland, Ukraine and Germany.

"A very engaged and thorough exchange of views took place on the topic of the Ukrainian crisis," the Russian foreign ministry said in the statement posted on its website.

"It was stated that any discussion of a political and diplomatic settlement is impossible without the participation of Russia and taking into account its interests in the security sphere."

Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, calling it a "special military operation" to "denazify" its neighbor.

Kyiv and its Western allies call the war, which two years later continues to kill civilians nearly on daily basis, an unprovoked land grab.