Russia has asked China for military equipment to support its invasion of Ukraine, according to US officials, sparking concern in the White House that Beijing may undermine western efforts to help Ukrainian forces defend their country.
US officials told the Financial Times that Russia had requested military equipment and other assistance since the start of the invasion. They declined to give details of what Russia had requested.
Another person familiar with the situation said the US was preparing to warn its allies, amid some indications that China may be preparing to help Russia. Other US officials have said there were signs that Russia was running out of some kinds of weaponry as the war in Ukraine extends into its third week.
The White House did not comment.
Liu Pengyu, the Chinese embassy spokesperson in Washington, said he was unaware of any suggestions that China might be willing to help Russia.
“China is deeply concerned and grieved on the Ukraine situation,” Liu said. “We sincerely hope that the situation will ease and peace will return at an early date.”
The revelation comes as Jake Sullivan, US national security adviser, heads to Rome for talks on Monday with Yang Jiechi, China’s top foreign policy official.
Before leaving Washington on Sunday, Sullivan warned China not to try to “bail out” Russia by helping Moscow to circumvent the sanctions that the US and its allies have imposed on President Vladimir Putin and his regime.
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