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Russia seeks military and economic aid from China for Ukraine war, US officials say

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Russia seeks military and economic aid from China for Ukraine war, US officials say

WASHINGTON – Russia asked China to provide military equipment and support for the war in Ukraine after President Vladimir V. Putin launched a full-scale offensive last month, according to US officials.

According to an official, Russia has also asked China for additional economic aid to help its economy cope with the widespread sanctions imposed by the United States and European and Asian countries.

US officials determined to keep their means of intelligence gathering secret at Russia’s requests, Moscow declined to describe the kind of military equipment Moscow is seeking. Officials also declined to discuss any of China’s response to the requests.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has cemented a partnership with Mr Putin and stands with him as Russia escalates its military campaign, destroying cities in Ukraine and killing hundreds or thousands of civilians. US officials are watching China closely to see if it will act on any requests for aid from Russia. White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is scheduled to meet with Yang Jiechi, a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s elite Politburo and director of the party’s Central Foreign Affairs Commission, in Rome on Monday.

Mr Sullivan intended to warn Mr Yang about any future Chinese attempts to strengthen Russia in its war or undermine Ukraine, the United States and their allies.

“We are communicating directly with Beijing privately that attempts to evade large-scale sanctions or support Russia will absolutely have consequences,” Mr Sullivan said on CNN on Sunday.

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“We will not allow this to go ahead and allow these economic sanctions from any country, anywhere in the world, to be a lifeline for Russia,” he said.

Mr Sullivan made no explicit mention of potential military support from China, but other US officials spoke about Russia’s request on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of diplomatic and intelligence matters.

The Biden administration is demanding for China the consequences of its alignment with Russia and punishment if it continues or increases its support. Some US officials argue that it may be possible to prevent Beijing from increasing its aid to Moscow. Those US officials say the Chinese leader may be content to offer rhetorical support for Moscow and does not want to push himself with Mr Putin by providing military aid for the war.

Mr Sullivan said China “knew before the invasion took place that Putin was planning something,” but added that Mr Xi or his allies were not aware of the full extent of the Russian leader’s plans. “It is quite possible that Putin lied to them in the same way he lied to Europeans and other peoples,” he said.

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