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Time for West to stop fanning flames in Ukraine: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2024-02-22 20:07
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Photo taken on Oct 28, 2021 shows the White House in Washington, DC, the United States. [Photo/Xinhua]

Feb 24 will mark the second anniversary of the start of the conflict in Ukraine. But instead of seeing any prospect for an end to the fighting in the heart of Europe, there are only fresh signs that the United States-led West intends to continue to fan the flames.

On Wednesday, the European Union approved its 13th round of sanctions on Russia since the latter launched its "special military operation".

With Ukraine having just suffered a setback in the key stronghold of Avdiivka and the US Congress dragging its feet on approving more military aid to Ukraine, the timing of the move is meant to reassure Kyiv that it still has the bloc's unwavering support.

Yet, the rising calls in many European countries for the money earmarked for Ukraine to be spent on addressing domestic woes suggest the EU policymakers are out of step with the public, who have grown increasingly frustrated by the lack of effort being made to bring an end to the conflict. This divergence is a growing test for the sustainability of the EU's pledge of support for Kyiv. Not to mention that the ongoing Gaza conflict has created another source of public consternation.

The conflict in Ukraine has become one of attrition with both sides paying a heavy price for even the smallest gain on the battlefield. The control of Avdiivka has given Russia the upper hand for the moment, which only augurs that the fighting will drag on.

Such an undesirable prospect cannot possibly cater to European countries' interests, and it paints an even gloomier picture for its security outlook. Unlike the many economic and geopolitical gains Washington has reaped from the conflict, Europe has harvested only bitter fruit.

It is no secret that the biggest beneficiaries of the Ukraine crisis are the US arms manufacturers and energy companies. The conflict has been a bonanza for the US and it has no desire to kill the goose that is laying golden eggs.

But the US and other stakeholders in the conflict should look more to the bigger picture of regional and world peace and stability so that a peaceful settlement of the crisis can be brokered at an early date.

As the Russia-Ukraine conflict is poised to drag into a third year, the international community should step up efforts to promote peace. The territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be abided by and the legitimate security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously.

The earlier peace talks take place, the sooner the conflict can be resolved and the less long-term damage it will do the world.

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