top of page

Ukraine’s Zelensky to China: there would be a ‘world war’ if you ally with Russia

Updated: Mar 28

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky recently made a statemnt that if China were to ally with Russia, it could lead to a "world war." The comment was made during an interview with Axios on HBO that aired on February 20, 2023. Zelensky's statement has garnered attention and sparked discussion about the potential consequences of such an alliance.

According to Axios, when asked about China's relationship with Russia, Zelensky stated, "If China were to join forces with Russia, I think there would be a world war. I don't think anyone wants that." He also expressed concern about Russia's aggressive actions towards Ukraine, saying, "Russia is an aggressor. They are trying to expand their territory, and it's a very dangerous situation."

Response From Russian Officials

Russian officials have dismissed Zelensky's warning, calling it an attempt to provoke further tensions in the region. The Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement criticizing Zelensky's comment, saying that it was an "irresponsible and unacceptable" statement that demonstrated Ukraine's "destructive attitude towards international relations."

Russian officials have also downplayed the potential for a China-Russia alliance to lead to a world war, citing their historically positive relationship and shared interests. As the Moscow Times reports, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has described the relationship between China and Russia as "unprecedented," noting that the two countries have "no problems that cannot be resolved."

Chinese Russian Summit between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping

Response From Chinese Officials

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has not directly responded to Zelensky's comments, but has emphasized its commitment to peaceful development and non-interference in the affairs of other countries. China's Foreign Ministry has released a statement calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine, stating that "all parties should work towards a political solution through dialogue and consultation."

Chinese officials have also reiterated their desire to maintain positive relations with both Russia and Ukraine, and have sought to balance their relationships with the two countries. As the South China Morning Post reports, China has been cautious in its response to the Ukraine conflict, seeking to avoid taking sides and maintaining its neutrality.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a Press Conference Friday

Analysis and Greater Context

Zelensky's comments come amid growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, with the two countries engaging in a military standoff in recent years. The situation has been further complicated by Russia's increasing cooperation with China, including joint military exercises and economic agreements.

While some experts have noted that an alliance between China and Russia could have significant implications for global power dynamics, others have questioned the likelihood of such an alliance forming. As CNBC notes, the two countries have historically had a complex relationship, with tensions over issues such as territorial disputes and economic competition.

bottom of page