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Ukraine Conflict: Russia Asked China For Military Equipment

According to US officials, the government in Moscow has requested military and economic aid from China. China's embassy in Washington is clueless.

According to the US government, Russia has asked China for help in the war of aggression in Ukraine. The Washington Post, the New York Times and the Financial Times all reported this, citing US government officials. Accordingly, the Russian government asked China for both military and economic aid. 

Details of the alleged Russian weapon requests were not given. It is also unclear how China reacted to the request. The Russian government apparently wants to limit  the effects of the sanctions with possible economic aid from China.

A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington said of Russia's alleged request for military equipment: "I've never heard of that."

Russia Attacks On Military Base

Direct support for ally Russia could bring China into conflict with Ukraine's western backers, who collectively control most of the global economy. The US government has repeatedly warned China and Chinese companies not to help Russia circumvent sanctions. In such a case, Chinese companies themselves could become the target of US punitive measures, it said.

US warns China against supporting Russia

The issue could also come up at the scheduled meeting between US President Joe Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, and China's top foreign policy chief, Yang Jiechi, in Rome on Monday. Sullivan told CNN that the government is closely monitoring the extent to which China is providing "material or economic support" to Russia. "That's one of our concerns," he said. The US government has made it clear to China that the US will not stand by if a country compensates Russia for the economic damage caused by the sanctions.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov had previously stated that the government in Moscow could no longer access foreign exchange reserves worth around 300 billion US dollars because of the sanctions. "That's about half the reserves we had," he told Russian TV channel Rossiya-1.

He pointed out that part of the gold and foreign exchange reserves are held in Chinese yuan. And that the West is pressuring China to restrict trade with Russia. However, the minister was confident that relations with China would continue to improve.

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