Russia denies it has asked China for military equipment in Ukraine war despite US claims

Russia and China both deny US claims over request for military help

Joe Middleton
Monday 14 March 2022 12:58 GMT
Watch live footage of Kyiv skyline amid Ukraine crisis

Russia has denied it has asked China for help with military equipment, despite claims from the US.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Russia could take full control of major Ukrainian cities without any help or military assistance from China.

“Russia possesses its own independent potential to continue the operation,” Mr Peskov said. “As we said, it is going according to plan and will be completed on time and in full.”

When asked about remarks by US officials who had said that Russia had asked China for military equipment and financial aid, Peskov said: “No.”

Mr Peskov said that some of Ukraine’s major cities were already surrounded by Russian forces.

“The defence ministry of the Russian Federation, while ensuring the maximum safety of the civilian population, does not exclude the possibility of taking major population centres under full control,” Mr Peskov added.

Russia’s denial comes just a day after reports that Moscow had asked China for weapons and financial aid.

The White House was understood to be concerned that Beijing could undermine Western efforts to help Ukrainian forces.

A woman holding a small dog walks in front of an apartment in a block which was destroyed by an artillery strike in Kyiv
A woman holding a small dog walks in front of an apartment in a block which was destroyed by an artillery strike in Kyiv (AP)

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned that Beijing would “absolutely” face consequences if it helped Moscow evade sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.

“We are communicating directly, privately to Beijing, that there will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions evasion efforts or support to Russia to backfill them,” Mr Sullivan said.

“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.”

This map shows the extent of Russia’s war in Ukraine
This map shows the extent of Russia’s war in Ukraine (Press Association Images)

China has also denied reports that Russia asked for military aid. Liu Pengyu, spokesperson for China’s embassy in Washington, added that Beijing found the war “disconcerting”, and added: “We support and encourage all efforts that are conducive to a peaceful settlement of the crisis.”

In other developments Russia has continued its push to conquer the country’s capital Kyiv, with fighting and artillery fire in the surrounding suburbs.

Ukrainian authorities said two people died and seven were injured after Russian forces struck an airplane factory in Kyiv, sparking a large fire.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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