U.S. officials say Russia is seeking military supplies and assistance from China

The development comes as White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan plans to travel to Rome on Monday to meet with his Chinese envoy, Yang Jiechi.

“We are contacting Beijing directly and personally, and there will be absolute repercussions for large-scale sanctions, evasion efforts or support for Russia’s refill,” Sullivan told CNN.

Liu Pengui, a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., said he was not aware of any such request for assistance. “I have never heard of it,” he said in an email to the Washington Post.

“China is deeply concerned and upset [the] The situation in Ukraine, “he said. “We support and encourage all efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. The top priority now is to prevent tensions from escalating or escalating. ”

Russian Finance Minister Anton Silvanov said in a televised interview on Sunday that part of Moscow’s gold and foreign exchange reserves were in Chinese currency. Reuters reported. “We see how Western countries are putting pressure on China to restrict mutual trade.”

“But I think our partnership with China will still allow us to retain the cooperation we have achieved, and not only maintain it in the context of the closure of Western markets, but also increase it.”

Speaking at several Sunday talks, Sullivan said while focusing on economic aid and sanctions evasion, officials said Russia was “less active on certain types of weapons.” They declined to say what kind.

“If Beijing provides any kind of military assistance to help Moscow’s war in Ukraine, the effects of the leak will be enormous on US-China policy,” said Eric Sayers, a former adviser to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and now Beacon’s senior vice president. Global Strategies.

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“This will abruptly end the debate on ways to work with Beijing. Most importantly, it will push Washington to expedite retaliatory and disconnection measures with China and create new pressure on companies now doing business in China,” Sayers said.

China buys some weapons from Russia, especially advanced fighter jets and ground-to-air missile systems, said Taylor Frewell, a professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specializes in Chinese defense.

“As far as I know, China does not sell any weapons to Russia,” Frewell said. “In other words, Russia has implemented China’s military modernization, but China has not yet contributed much to the development of Russia’s armed forces.

China sought to balance political support for Russia by upholding policies such as sovereignty and regional integration, including blaming the US and NATO for the war, Frewell noted. He therefore said that if China provided “direct material support” for Russia’s war effort, “it would be a watershed moment.”

Michael Kaufman, director of CNA’s Russia research program for the Virginia – based non – profit analytics group, said Russia’s demand that he have no independent knowledge “reflects that this war is costly and tiring over time. The Russian military.”

On the day Russian troops entered Ukraine, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Beijing would not send arms to Russia in response to US efforts to mobilize military support for Ukraine. “There is a difference in methods between China and the United States on this issue.”

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Moscow’s apparent turn to Beijing came as senior US intelligence officials described to Congress last week how Russia and China have been more closely intertwined at any point since the mid – 1950s.

Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, National Intelligence Director Avril Haynes said Tuesday that “they continue to be close together.” “I think it has a limit to go, however, it is a concern. I will say that it is not yet clear how it will affect the course of their relationship, given the impact of the current crisis.

During the same committee, CIA Director William J. Burns noted that the Sino-Russian partnership has strengthened in recent years. He added, however, that he thought Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chinese leadership were not at all calm at what they saw in Ukraine.

China is also watching with caution how close the EU and the US are to the Ukraine crisis. Chinese officials have “valued their relationship with Europe and their ability to create divisions between us and the Europeans,” Burns said.

Michael Birnbaum contributed to this report.

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