U.S. officials said that Russia had asked for Chinese aid prior to its invasion of Ukraine, according to a New York Times report published Sunday.
Officials said Russia asked China to provide military equipment before its invasion, and that Russia has asked for additional economic aid since the United States, European and Asian nations levied sanctions against Moscow, The New York Times reported. However, the officials who spoke with The Times did not detail what weapons or equipment Russia had sought from Beijing. (RELATED: Former Top Trump Official Argues Biden’s Russia Sanctions Are ‘Half Measures,’ Contain Loopholes)
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with Yang Jiechi, a member of the Chinese Communist Party, on Monday in Rome to discuss the consequences for helping Russia. According to reports, Sullivan was to deliver a message to China for global implications if it showed continued support to Russia.
“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 said Sunday on CNN when asked by anchor Dana Bash if the U.S. would sanction China for helping Russia.
A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy, Liu Pengyu, said, “The current situation in Ukraine is indeed disconcerting.” He claimed that he had never heard of the request from Russia, according to The New York Times. Pengyu told the outlet that Beijing wants to see a peaceful settlement and that its priority is to prevent further escalation.
Moscow reportedly launched a missile strike only 15 miles from the Polish border and killed 35 people over the weekend. Brent Renaud, an American reporter, was recently shot and killed in a city outside of Kyiv on Sunday. Ukraine claims he was fatally shot by Russian military forces.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is set to virtually address Congress on Wednesday and has already issued a warning that Russia may soon send missiles into NATO countries.