Chinese president Xi Jinping has urged a political solution to the crisis in Ukraine and for all parties to exercise calm and restraint, during separate telephone calls with US president Barack Obama and German chancellor Angela Merkel.

“The situation in Ukraine is extremely complex, and what is most urgent is for all sides to remain calm and exercise restraint to avoid an escalation in tensions,” China’s foreign ministry on Monday cited Xi as telling Obama.

“Political and diplomatic routes must be used to resolve the crisis,” Xi added.

China has an “open attitude” towards any suggestions or proposals which can ameliorate the situation, and is willing to remain in touch with all parties including the United States, he said.

Xi told Merkel that the Ukraine situation is “highly sensitive” and needs to be weighed carefully, according to a separate Chinese statement.

Merkel delivered a rebuke to President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, telling him that a planned Moscow-backed referendum on whether Crimea should join Russia was illegal and violated Ukraine’s constitution.

“The chancellor explained the situation in Ukraine and efforts to come to a political solution of the conflict,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement... see more

source: Guardian UK