European Council president says China 'cannot turn a blind eye to Russia's violation of international law'

European Council president says China 'cannot turn a blind eye to Russia's violation of international law'
European Council President Charles Michel arrives prior to a video-conference with China's President and European Commission President during a EU China summit at the European Council building in Brussels, on April 1, 2022.Photo by OLIVIER MATTHYS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
  • A top European official urged China not to ignore Russian forces' human rights violations.
  • European Council President Charles Michel delivered the remarks after an EU-China summit.

European Council President Charles Michel urged China on Friday not to ignore Russia's actions in its ongoing war with Ukraine.

"[Russian President Vladimir] Putin's war in Ukraine continues to kill women and children, and destroy entire cities. And this is a blatant violation of international law," Michel said during a press conference. "This global instability is not in China's interest and not in the EU's interest."

He added: "China cannot turn a blind eye to Russia's violation of international law, and these principles are enshrined in the UN charter."

Michel's remarks came after he held summits with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, where the they discussed Russia's five-week-long war in Ukraine.

Von der Leyen added on Friday that "China's reputation is at stake," and said China has a "very special responsibility" to either support the sweeping economic sanctions imposed on Russian by European states or, at the very least, avoid interfering with them.


The EU called on China to support pushing for a ceasefire in Ukraine and condemn Russia's actions, following similar pleas from Western nations.

Beijing has yet to explicitly condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin's unprovoked war against Ukraine, and instead has criticized Western sanctions and NATO.

Meanwhile, the US, Ukraine, and other Western countries have accused Russia of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against Ukrainian civilians throughout the war.

Russian forces have targeted multiple Ukrainian cities with shelling and bombardment, leading to outcry and harsh condemnation from global leaders and top human rights groups.

According to the latest UN figures, 3,167 civilian casualties have been recorded in Ukraine since the war began on February 24 — 1,232 deaths and 1,935 injuries.


The UN, however, said it "believes that the actual figures are considerably higher, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration."

Specifically, it said the southern port city if Mariupol, where humanitarian groups have expressed a desperation to establish civilian evacuations amid reports that scores have died due to Russian shelling.