U.S. officials say Russia has asked China for military assistance for its war in Ukraine, an unusual request that suggests Vladimir Putin has faced more setbacks than he imagined in his invasion.
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss delicate matters, did not specify what kind of equipment Moscow had requested from its most powerful diplomatic partner. The official declined to say how the administration knows these details. Another U.S. official said the request is not new, and was made just after Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion.
This latest twist comes as the U.S. and China plan to hold their first high-level, in-person talks since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The White House said National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will meet in Rome on Monday with China’s top diplomat, Communist Party Politburo member Yang Jiechi.
It’s part of the Biden administration’s ongoing pressure on Beijing to exert its influence on Putin to end the crisis and was arranged before news of Russia’s outreach to China spilled into the public sphere.
Speaking to reporters in Beijing, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, dismissed the allegations as “disinformation” from the United States, adding that China “would resolutely safeguard the rights of Chinese businesses.”
Contribution: NDTV News