(Beijing) China assured on Monday that it respected the “sovereign state status” of the countries of the former USSR, after the controversial statements of its ambassador to France.

“China respects the sovereign state status of the republics” born after the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told reporters.

She assured that “China respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries and supports the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter”.

The Chinese ambassador to France, Lu Shaye, questioned on the LCI news channel about the Ukrainian province of Crimea annexed since 2014 by Moscow, had denied the sovereignty of former Soviet republics on Friday evening.

The countries of the former USSR “ do not have effective status in international law because there is no international agreement to concretize their status as sovereign countries”, he declared on Friday evening. .

These remarks provoked an outcry in the States concerned, starting with the Baltic States, members of the European Union and NATO, who “ will convene ” the Chinese ambassadors in their respective capitals on Monday to “ request a clarification ” .

They were also described as “ unacceptable ” by the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrel, for whom “ the EU can only assume that these statements do not represent China’s official position ”.

In fact, Beijing distances itself on Monday from the words of its ambassador, who is part of the “ wolves fighters ”, this new clan of Chinese diplomats who do not mince their words in the face of a West perceived as systematically hostile to Beijing.

“ After the collapse of the Soviet Union, China was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the countries concerned ” explained Ms. Mao.

“Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China has always adhered to the principle of mutual respect and equality to develop bilateral relations of friendship and cooperation,” added the spokesperson.

“ Some media have misinterpreted China’s position on the Ukrainian issue and are sowing discord in relations between China and the countries concerned ”, she further underlined, “ we will be vigilant about this ”.

Regarding Crimea, occupied by Moscow since 2014, Mr. Lu Shaye said that “Crimea belonged to Russia at the very beginning. It was Khrushchev who offered Crimea to Ukraine in the days of the Soviet Union.”

“ All the countries of the former USSR have a clear sovereign status enshrined in international law ”, replied Mykhaïlo Podoliak, adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, on Twitter before ironically: “ If you want to be a major political actor, do not repeat like a parrot the propaganda of the Russians”.

“ The three Baltic States will convene during the day ” on Monday their Chinese emissaries “ to ask for a clarification, to know if China’s position has changed regarding independence and to remind them that we are not post-Soviet countries, but countries having been illegally occupied by the Soviet Union,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on the sidelines of a meeting of European foreign ministers on Monday.

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics also denounced “ completely unacceptable ” remarks.

His Estonian counterpart Margus Tsahkna described them as “ false ”, falling under a “ erroneous interpretation of History ”. “According to international law, the Baltic States have been sovereign since 1918, but they were occupied for 50 years” by the USSR, he continued.