China doubts sovereignty of ex-USSR states

China’s doubts about the sovereignty of former Soviet states like Ukraine have fallen foul of several EU countries. The EU will “vigorously” ask China for clarification, foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell announces.

The Chinese ambassador to France on Friday on French television questioned the right of self-determination of the countries that were once part of the Soviet Union. “They have no real status in international law,” he said.

Among other things, its host country France and Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which, like Ukraine, broke away from Moscow in the 1990s, find the statements unacceptable. The three Baltic countries have already asked China for text and explanations.

Borrell meets with EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday.

“I cannot say in advance what the outcome of the discussion will be, but it will certainly be a powerful position to clarify the Chinese government’s view on the sovereignty of former Soviet states,” he said on arrival.

The foreign ministers talk longer about China, because the EU is in the process of adjusting its attitude towards the increasingly assertive superpower, says Borrell.