Russia has asked China for military equipment to support its invasion of Ukraine, according to US officials, sparking concern in the White House that Beijing may undermine western efforts to help Ukrainian forces defend their country.
US officials told the Financial Times that Russia had requested military equipment and other assistance since the start of the invasion. They declined to give details about what Russia had requested. Another person familiar with the situation said the US was preparing to warn its allies, amid some indications that China may be preparing to help Russia.
Other US officials have said there were signs that Russia was running out of some kinds of weaponry as the war in Ukraine extends into its third week. The White House did not comment. The Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for a comment. The revelation comes as Jake Sullivan, US national security adviser, heads to Rome for talks on Monday with Yang Jiechi, China’s top foreign policy official. Before leaving Washington on Sunday, Sullivan warned China not to try to “bail out” Russia by helping Moscow to circumvent the sanctions that the US and its allies have imposed on President Vladimir Putin and his regime.