US warns China against providing lethal aid to Russia

US warns China against providing lethal aid to Russia

Updated: 21 days, 17 hours, 41 minutes, 24 seconds ago

Beijing has refused to condemn Moscow’s attack on Ukraine, most recently at a meeting of the G20 in India at the weekend. It published a ceasefire proposal on Friday – the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – but the offer was met with scepticism among Ukraine’s Western allies.

“When I hear reports – and I don’t know whether they are true – according to which China may be planning to supply kamikaze drones to Russia while at the same time presenting a peace plan, then I suggest we judge China by its actions and not its words,” German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on Sunday.

CIA director William Burns also weighed in, saying the US intelligence agency was “confident that the Chinese leadership is considering the provision of lethal equipment”.

“We also don’t see that a final decision has been made yet, and we don’t see evidence of actual shipments of lethal equipment,” he said.

Republican Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, cited reports that drones were among the weapons China was considering sending to Russia.

He claimed Chinese President Xi Jinping was preparing to visit Moscow for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Mr Putin has cast the Ukraine war as a confrontation with the West which threatens the survival of Russia and its people.

“They have one goal: to disband the former Soviet Union and its fundamental part – the Russian Federation,” he said on Sunday.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan.  Bloomberg

NATO and the West dismiss this narrative, saying their objective in providing weapons and other aid to Kyiv is to help Ukraine defend itself against an unprovoked attack.

Even so, Mr Putin’s framing of the war as a threat to Russia’s existence allows him greater freedom in the types of weapons he could one day use, including, possibly, nuclear weapons.

Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s former president and an ally of Mr Putin, said the supply of Western arms to Kyiv risked a global nuclear catastrophe.


On the frontlines, Ukrainian ground forces commander Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi visited the eastern city of Bakhmut, the focus of Russia’s attacks for months as it tries to take control of the Donbas industrial region.

Ukrainian forces launched a number of counter-attacks and repulsed Russian forces around the village of Yahidne at the weekend, after Russia’s Wagner mercenary group claimed to have captured it and the village of Berkhivka.

The Russian defence ministry said on Sunday that its forces had destroyed Ukrainian “sabotage and reconnaissance groups”, including in the area of Yahidne, while Russia’s TASS state agency reported that Ukraine’s forces blew up a dam just north of Bakhmut.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the reports.

Mr Syrskyi visited Bakhmut to boost morale and talk strategy with units defending the town and surrounding villages, the Ukrainian military said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday fired a senior commander helping to lead the fight in the east, but gave no reason for the move.


In a one-line decree, Mr Zelensky announced the dismissal of Eduard Moskalyov as commander of the joint forces of Ukraine, which are engaged in battles in the Donbas.