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China Is Backing Russia’s War Effort In Ukraine Through Defence Support, Say US Officials

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Senior US officials have stated that China is backing Russia’s war effort in Ukraine by providing drones, missile technology, satellite imagery and machine tools. They added that the issue was raised by President Biden during his phone conversation with President Xi on April 2 where according to a White House statement, the president “raised concerns over the PRC’s support for Russia’s defense industrial base and its impact on European and transatlantic security, and he emphasised the United States’ enduring commitment to the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.”

“Our view is that one of the most game-changing moves available to us at this time to support Ukraine is to persuade the PRC (China) to stop helping Russia reconstitute its military-industrial base. Russia would struggle to sustain its war effort without PRC input,” the official said. He added that Beijing was helping Moscow undertake its “most ambitious defence expansion since the Soviet era and on a faster timeline than we believed possible early on in this conflict.”

The Chinese Embassy in the US has, however, said in a statement that it has not provided weaponry to any party, adding that it is “not a producer of or party involved in the Ukraine crisis.” They added, however, that the US should not work to disrupt normal relations between Russia and China.

“We urge the U.S. side to refrain from disparaging and scapegoating the normal relationship between China and Russia,” Chinese embassy spokesperson in the US, Liu Pengyu, said.

The US has recently stepped up measures, not just on China, but also reminded other countries, such as India, that it was important to keep Russia under sanctions to end the Ukraine war. A US Treasury delegation was recently in India where they pointed out their aim was to persuade President Putin and Russia to sell oil at a cheaper price than before so that it could not continue to fund the Ukraine war but at the same time it could continue to keep the global energy market stable.

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Speaking at an event in New Delhi, Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy of the US State Department of Treasury Eric Van Nostrand stated, “It’s now time for us to respond to a different reality where Russia has created a larger channel to move oil without touching coalition services. Phase 2 of the price cap is intended to respond to that development by increasing the cost, by making it harder for Russia to move oil outside the coalition services nexus, thereby, forcing it to sell more oil either under the cap with coalition services or, importantly, offering even bigger discounts to other buyers, global buyers outside the coalition,” said Nostrand.

He added, “This will make it difficult for Putin to finance its war machine. At the same time, we are still extracting Russia’s natural resources for the benefit of consumers around the globe.”

(With inputs from Reuters)