Russia has asked China for military assistance in Ukraine, including drones, a senior US official said Sunday.
CNN reports reaching out to the Russian embassy in the US for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN’s Dana Bash Sunday that China providing Russia with support is a “concern.”
“We also are watching closely to see the extent to which China actually does provide any form of support, material support or economic support, to Russia. It is a concern of ours. And we have communicated to Beijing that we will not stand by and allow any country to compensate Russia for its losses from the economic sanctions,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said the US has made it clear to Beijing there will “absolutely be consequences” for “large-scale” efforts to give the Kremlin a workaround to US sanctions.
“We will not allow that to go forward and allow there to be a lifeline to Russia from these economic sanctions from any country anywhere in the world,” he said.
Sullivan is set to meet with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Rome Monday.
Chinese Embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu told CNN Sunday he had not heard of Russia’s request.
“I’ve never heard of that. China is deeply concerned and grieved on the Ukraine situation. We sincerely hope that the situation will ease and peace will return at an early date,” Pengyu said. “The current situation in Ukraine is indeed disconcerting. Utmost efforts should be made to support Russia and Ukraine in carrying forward negotiations despite the difficult situation to produce a peaceful outcome. We support and encourage all efforts that are conducive to a peaceful settlement of the crisis. The high priority now is to prevent the tense situation from escalating or even getting out of control. There is consensus about this among the international community, including the parties concerned.”
“China calls for exercising utmost restraint and preventing a massive humanitarian crisis. China has put forward an initiative for responding to the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. China has provided Ukraine with humanitarian assistance, and will continue to do so,” Pengyu said.
The White House said last week China was “abiding by the requirements that have been put in place” over sanctions.
“Our assessment right now is that (China is) abiding by the requirements that have been put in place, but we would continue to encourage any country to think a lot about what role they want to play in history as we all look back,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a Wednesday press conference.
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