mandag 20. februar 2023

Ukraine war: Blinken says China may give weapons to Russia

China is considering giving Russia weapons and ammunition for the Ukraine war, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said. Mr Blinken told CBS News that Chinese companies were already providing "non-lethal support" to Russia - and new information suggested Beijing could provide "lethal support". This escalation would mean "serious consequences" for China, he warned.

China has denied reports that Moscow has requested military equipment. Chinese President Xi Jinping is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and is yet to condemn Russia's invasion - but he has sought to remain neutral in the conflict and has called for peace. China's foreign ministry said it would not accept "finger pointing" and "coercion" from the US over its relations with Russia.

Mr Blinken was speaking to CBS after he met China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference. He said that during the meeting he expressed "deep concerns" about the "possibility that China will provide lethal material support to Russia". "To date, we have seen Chinese companies... provide non-lethal support to Russia for use in Ukraine. The concern that we have now is based on information we have that they're considering providing lethal support," he said.