Russia has turned to China for military equipment and aid in the weeks since it began its invasion of Ukraine, U.S. officials familiar with the matter told The Washington Post.
The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, did not describe what kind of weaponry had been requested, or whether they know how China responded.
The development comes as White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan plans to travel to Rome on Monday to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi.
“We are communicating directly, privately to Beijing, that there will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions, evasion efforts or support to Russia to backfill them,” Sullivan told CNN.
A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, Liu Pengyu, said he was not aware of any such request for assistance. “I’ve never heard of that,” he said in an email to The Washington Post.
“China is deeply concerned and grieved on [the] Ukraine situation,” he said. “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.”
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, speaking Sunday in a television interview, noted that part of Moscow’s gold and foreign exchange reserves were in Chinese currency, Reuters reported. “And we see what pressure is being exerted by Western countries on China in order to limit mutual trade.”
Russia seeks military equipment and aid from China, U.S. officials sayRussia seeks military equipment and aid from China, U.S. officials say