Russia seeking military aid from China says US official

Russia-Ukraine tensions highlights: The United States and its allies steped up sanctions pressure on Russia on Wednesday over the deployment of troops in separatist regions of eastern Ukraine, in one of the worst security crises in Europe in decades. US claims 100 percent of Russian troops are in invasion-ready formations and said an attack was imminent. Ukraine is set to declare a state of emergency and has asked its 30 lakh citizens living in Russia to flee. Ukrainian MPs also passed a vote allowing civilians to carry firearms. (cnbc tv)

A U.S. official said Russia asked China for military equipment to use in its invasion of Ukraine, a request that heightens tensions about the war as top aides from the U.S. and China governments met Monday in Rome.

In advance of the talks, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan bluntly warned China to avoid helping Russia evade punishment from global sanctions that have hammered the Russian economy. “We will not allow that to go forward,” he said.

Russia on Monday denied it needed China’s help.

“No, Russia has its own potential to continue the operation, which, as we have said, is unfolding in accordance with the plan and will be completed on time and in full,” said Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said the talks with the U.S. were underway around 11:50 a.m. Rome time (1050 GMT), but gave no details.

The prospect of China offering Russia financial help is one of several concerns for President Joe Biden. A U.S. official said that in recent days, Russia had requested support from China, including military equipment, to press forward in its ongoing war with Ukraine. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters, did not provide details on the scope of the request. The request was first reported by the Financial Times and The Washington Post.

The Russians have seen significant losses of tanks, helicopters and other materiel since the start of the war more than two weeks ago. Ukraine, while overmatched by Russian forces, is well-equipped with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.

The Biden administration is also accusing China of spreading Russian disinformation that could be a pretext for Putin’s forces to attack Ukraine with chemical or biological weapons.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put China in a delicate spot with two of its biggest trading partners: the U.S. and European Union. China needs access to those markets, yet it also has shown support for Moscow, joining with Russia in declaring a friendship with “no limits.”

The Yucatan Times
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