Russia Asks China for 'Military Assistance' with Ukraine Invasion
U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan warns Chinese Communist Party
Moscow has reached out to Communist China to request military assistance with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according to reports.
Russia is asking the Chinese Communist Party to provide military equipment and aid as Vladimir Putin's forces begin to falter.
Putin had expected to seize control of Ukraine in a swift offensive lasting just a few days.
However, in the face of dogged opposition, Russia is still fighting almost three weeks later.
The drawn-out war, which is costing Russia $20 billion a day, is leading to stockpiles of some weapons such as guided missiles running low and heavier-than-expected losses of tanks, armored vehicles, helicopters, and aircraft.
U.S. officials, speaking anonymously, have warned that the Kremlin has now reached out to Beijing for help replenishing its military supplies.
However, it is not clear exactly what Putin's apparatchiks requested or when the request was made.
Western nations have been supplying Ukraine with a steady stream of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.
Russian forces are continuing to circle Kyiv, but have yet to take the Ukrainian capital.
According to the New York Times, on top of reported military aid including drones, China has been approached to provide further economic help as Russia continues to be slammed from western sanctions.
The officials have refused to reveal details of the intelligence, but it comes as National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is set to meet his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Rome on Monday.
On Sunday, Sullivan said the United States was “watching closely” whether China does provide further support.
“It is a concern of ours,” he told CNN.
“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.
“There will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions evasion efforts or support to Russia to backfill them.”
Despite reports of military requests, a spokesperson for China’s embassy in Washington told CNN that he had “never heard of that.”
"The current situation in Ukraine is indeed disconcerting,” Liu Pengyu said.
"The high priority now is to prevent the tense situation from escalating or even getting out of control.
"China calls for exercising utmost restraint and preventing a massive humanitarian crisis."
As the United States, the EU, Australia, and countries across the world continue to level severe sanctions on Russia’s elite and its major institutions, China has moved to support its ally in Moscow.
The two countries signed a “no-limits” friendship treaty only weeks before Vladimir Putin launched his invasion, while reports have emerged that Beijing urged Moscow to hold off the war until after the Olympics.
China also went ahead with easing trade restrictions on Russian wheat just as western sanctions begin to target Moscow’s financial systems and institutions as well as the country’s most powerful and wealthiest individuals.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian recently hit out at Western retaliatory measures and said “wielding the big stick of sanctions” would not solve the war in Ukraine.
"It has been long proven that rather than addressing the problem, sanctions will create new problems,” he said during his daily press briefing on Thursday.
"The US should not impose so-called sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction on Chinese companies and individuals or undermine the legitimate rights and interests of China, otherwise China will make a strong and resolute response.”