China president disturbed and could talk sense into Putin, ex-MI6 head says

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Vladimir Putin’s greatest ally Xi Jinping will not be supportive of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the former head of MI6 has claimed.

Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine on February 24, and there have been reports of civilian areas being targeted by the Russian military as Ukrainian citizens fight to defend their country.

The US has reportedly warned China not to become embroiled in the war, with fears that this could lead to an escalation into World War 3.

And, speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, the former Head of MI6 has suggested that this could be a good opportunity for Xi Jinping’s country to reframe its relationship with the US by dissuading Putin from continuing with the assault.

Sir Alex Younger, who ran MI6 from 2014 to 2020, suggested: “Of all the people in the world who can talk sense into him, it’s Xi. Vladimir Putin needs Xi.

“Of course Xi, while he feels he has to align himself at the high level of what Russia is doing because of their new alliance, must be deeply disturbed by what is going on.

“It is seriously compounding the economic problems that China faces, and he must see the huge reputational risks of being even tacitly associated with the murderous activity in Ukraine.

“So he won’t have welcomed this war.”

Despite this, Sir Alex suggested that the overruling strategy for China revolves around the ideology that what is bad for America is somehow good for the communist country.

And, despite reports that peace talks between the neighbouring countries are going well, the security expert noted that the conflict will not pass easily.

“Putin does not have a reverse gear. He gambled, he has hit extraordinary difficulties early on, but he’s going to keep going,” he suggested.

“He has to because he went into this war with a false premise and he needs to be seen to be bringing something back from it.”

“Putin’s minimal demands if he’s seen to be justified in this reckless gamble, go a very long way beyond what Ukraine can sign up to.”

This might mean, he suggested, Ukraine relinquishing their neutrality or even annexing some regions to Russia.

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  • BBC
  • Vladimir Putin
  • World War 3
  • Military
  • China
  • Russia

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