Ukraine's Zelenskiy says China's Xi told him he will not sell any weapons to Russia

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Zelenskiy and Belgium's PM De Croo visit Melsbroek air base

KYIV (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that China would not sell weapons to Russia during a phone conversation between the two men, Zelenskiy said on Thursday.

Zelenskiy was speaking at a joint press conference with U.S. President Joe Biden at the G7 summit in Italy. He did not specify when the conversation with Xi took place.

"I had a firm conversation with (the) leader of China. He said that he will not sell any weapon to Russia. We’ll see if he’s (a) respectable person he will not, because he gave me (his) word," Zelenskiy said in English.

Biden chimed in as Zelenskiy finished speaking, saying: "By the way, China is not supplying weapons but the ability to produce those weapons and the technology available to do it, so it is in fact helping Russia."

Zelenskiy said that if Kyiv and China had the same views on peace there could be dialogue between them, and that if Beijing had an alternative view, it could prepare an alternative "peace formula".

The Ukrainian leader has promoted his vision for peace in Ukraine, which he calls his "peace formula".

Switzerland is scheduled to host international delegations from dozens of countries and organisation this weekend at a summit to try to bring peace in Ukraine closer.

The last publicly known phone call between Zelenskiy and Xi was in April 2023, the only such call since Russia’s full-scale invasion.

(Reporting by Max Hunder, Yuliia Dysa and Tom Balmforth; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)