Russia is seeking military aid from China as Ukraine campaign continues, say U.S. officials

Top U.S. aides are meeting with Chinese aides Monday morning in Rome.

Published: March 14, 2022 7:14am

Updated: March 14, 2022 7:58am

A U.S. official says that Russia asked China for military equipment and support for its war in Ukraine following Vladimir Putin's full-scale invasion two-and-a-half weeks ago.

"We will not allow that to go forward," White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned the Chinese government ahead of Monday morning talks in Rome between top aides for the U.S. and China.

Sullivan will meet with Yang Jiechi, a member of the Chinese Communist Party's Politburo and director of the party's Central Foreign Affairs Commission.

It is unclear what type of aid Russia is seeking as its economy is impacted by invasion-related sanctions and might need additional military equipment as NATO allies help Ukraine.   

German broadcasters DW News, or Deutsche Welle, says China denies being ask for aid.

Immediately prior to the beginning of Putin's war, Russia and China signed a comprehensive agreement to strengthen the partnership between the two countries. 

Sullivan, during a CNN interview on Sunday said that this administration "will not allow" there to be a "lifeline to Russia from these economic sanctions from any country anywhere in the world."

He also said: "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."

In recent says, Putin has escalated his campaign in Ukraine, killing at least hundreds and possibly thousands of civilians, and razing cities to the ground.

President Joe Biden's administration is concerned that China is spreading Russian disinformation that could serve as a pretext for another strike from Putin's forces, this time featuring chemical or biological weapons.

Administration officials says Beijing is responsible for spreading false Russian information that Ukraine was running chemical and biological weapons lab with the assistance of the U.S.

The U.S. has unequivocally denied the allegation and Sullivan said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that "it’s a good tell that they may be on the cusp of doing it themselves," meaning, a deployment of chemical or biological weapons. 

Putin's invasion of Ukraine has placed China in a tenuous financial position as it negotiates its relationship with its two biggest trading partners, the U.S. and the European Union.

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