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'Not rational' for China to negotiate outcome of Ukraine war -Biden

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to the media before departing the White House for the weekend, in Washington, U.S., February 24, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

U.S. President Joe Biden told ABC News in an interview on Friday that the idea China would be negotiating the outcome of the Ukraine war was not rational, following the release of Beijing's peace plan for the conflict.

"(Russian President Vladimir) Putin's applauding it, so how could it be any good?" Biden told ABC News on the one-year anniversary of the war.

"I've seen nothing in the plan that would indicate that there is something that would be beneficial to anyone other than Russia, if the Chinese plan were followed."

"The idea that China is going to be negotiating the outcome of a war that's a totally unjust war for Ukraine is just not rational."

China's plan urges both sides to agree to a gradual de-escalation and warns against the use of nuclear weapons.

The plan, set out in a foreign ministry paper, was largely a reiteration of China's line since Russia launched what it calls its "special military operation" on Feb. 24 last year.

Biden also repeated comments that he would not be sending F-16s to Ukraine for now, saying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy did not need the fighter jets for the moment.

"He doesn't need F-16s now," Biden said. “I am ruling it out for now."

(Reporting by Eric Beech and Costas Pitas; Editing by Sandra Maler and Chris Reese)

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