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China sends humanitarian aid to Ukraine, Xi Jinping 'deeply grieved' by war

Chinese President Xi Jinping told his French and German counterparts that China was 'deeply grieved' by the outbreak of war in Europe.

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Amid the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, China has extended a helping hand to the war-torn country. China has announced that it is sending 5 million yuan (about USD 7.91 lakh) worth of food grains and other daily necessities to Ukraine.

However, China continues to oppose the imposition of economic sanctions on Russia over military action against this Eastern European country. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told the media that the first consignment of aid was handed over to Ukraine on Wednesday and the second consignment is expected to be sent soon.

China is largely backing Russia and Zhao reiterated that Beijing opposes economic sanctions against Moscow. Earlier, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his French and German counterparts that China was 'deeply grieved' by the outbreak of war in Europe. Beijing is also under growing pressure from various countries to mediate on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Read | Russia's bombing of maternity hospital an 'atrocity,' says Volodymyr Zelenskyy; 17 injured

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday that the aid, which includes food and everyday essentials, comes at the request of Ukraine and will be distributed 'as quickly as possible' to the Ukrainian Red Cross.

In a press conference, Zhao said that the ban will not bring peace and security, but create serious difficulties for the economy of the country concerned and the livelihood of the common people. He said that China and Russia will continue normal business cooperation, including oil and gas, in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.

China also said that the United States should be held responsible for causing the conflict, as Washington failed to give sufficient consideration to Russia's 'legitimate' security concern over NATO expansion.

Since Russian troops entered Ukraine on February 24, they have advanced into the country on multiple fronts, shelling key cities and forcing large-scale evacuations. The war has sent around 2.2 million refugees across Ukraine's borders in what the UN has called Europe's fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II, sparking fears of a wider conflict.

(With Agency Inputs)

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