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China’s president is the only person who can ‘speak common sense’ to Putin, says ex-MI6 chief
The former head of MI6 has become the latest public figure to say that only China can influence Vladimir Putin to stop the war on Ukraine.
Sir Alex Younger, former head of secret intelligence from 2014 to 2020, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Of all the people in the world who can exert influence on Vladimir Putin, who is in his bunker and who is obsessed with achieving greatness through the restoration of the Russian Empire…, of all the people who can talk to him about meaning, is Xi (Jinping, the Chinese leader).
“Vladimir Putin needs Xi and of course Xi as he feels he has to align at the highest level with what Russia is doing because of their new alliance, must be deeply troubled by what is happening. “
He added that the situation in Ukraine “seriously aggravates the economic problems facing China” and carries a “huge reputational risk” for China if it continues to associate itself with “murderous activities in Ukraine”.
He added: “Putin has no backtracking. He bet.
“He encountered extraordinary difficulties at the beginning, but he will continue and he must do so, because he entered this war with a false premise, and he must be seen to bring something back.”
Earlier in the dispute, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called on Beijing to end its “chilling silence” and said “no country in the world will have a greater impact on the conclusion of this terrible war”.