The exchanges come before top US and Chinese officials meet in Rome. US media outlets, citing Washington officials, say that Russia has in recent days asked China specifically for military equipment, including drones. In a CNN interview, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said they were "communicating directly, privately to Beijing that there will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions evasion efforts or support to Russia to backfill them".
"We will not allow that to go forward and allow there to be a lifeline to Russia from these economic sanctions from any country, anywhere in the world," he said. He added that while the US believed China was aware that Russian leader Vladimir Putin was "planning something" before the invasion happened, Beijing "may not have understood the full extent of it".