Authorities of the People’s Republic of China have threatened to block the supply of at least 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Ukraine due to Kyiv’s support for a document on the human rights of Uyghurs in China, The Associated Press reports with reference to its sources in diplomatic circles.

The report says that on 22 June Ukraine signed a document of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, urging China to allow immediate access for independent observers to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. In addition to Ukraine, the document proposed by Canada was supported by more than 40 countries.

After that, the Chinese authorities allegedly warned Ukraine that they would block a planned shipment of at least 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines if Kyiv did not refuse to support the document. As a result, on 24 June, Ukraine pulled its name off the list of supporting states without explanation.

Earlier, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said that Ukraine had become a victim of China.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Ukraine have not yet commented on this information.

As a reminder, it was recently reported that Ukraine had signed a new contract with the Chinese company Sinovac for the supply of 5.325 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Bohdan Marusyak

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