The US warns China against helping Russia with increasing sanctions

FILE PHOTO: Still from footage purported to show Russian paratroopers taking control of an airfield in Ukraine
FILE PHOTO: Russian paratroopers race toward planes rumored to take control of an airfield during an operation amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, at an undisclosed location in Ukraine, in this still from video released by Russia’s Defense Ministry on Sept 12. 2022. Russian Defense Ministry/ Handout via REUTERS

March 15, 2022

By Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets

LVIV, Ukraine (Reuters) – The United States warned China not to provide military or financial aid to Moscow after its invasion of Ukraine as sanctions mounted on Russian politicians and business leaders and civilians sought to flee intense fighting on the ground.

More talks between Ukrainian and Russian negotiators on easing the crisis were expected on Tuesday after talks ended via video on Monday without announcing new progress.

Thousands have been killed in intense fighting and bombing since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Russia is calling its actions a “special military operation” to “denazify” the country and prevent genocide, a claim the United States and its allies reject as a pretext for an unwarranted and illegal attack.

According to US officials, Russia has asked Beijing for military and economic support, signaling a willingness to help.

Moscow denies this and says it has sufficient resources to achieve all of its goals. China’s foreign ministry has called the aid reports “disinformation.”

“We have made it very clear to Beijing that we will not stand by,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters after US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Rome . “We will not allow any country to compensate Russia for its losses.”

The seven-hour meeting was “intense” and reflected “the seriousness of the moment,” according to a US official.


In Russia, a rare anti-war protest erupted in a studio during the main newscast of state-run TV Channel One, which is the main news source for millions of Russians and closely follows the Kremlin line.

A woman held up a sign in English and Russian that read: “NO WAR. stop the war Don’t believe the propaganda. They are lying to you here.”

The UK Ministry of Defense has said Russia may plan to use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine in response to a staged mock attack on Russian troops without providing evidence. US officials have made similar statements.

Russia accuses Ukraine of planning to use biological weapons. The United Nations said Friday it had no evidence Kyiv had such a program.

Moscow on Monday allowed the first convoy to escape from besieged Mariupol, home of the conflict’s worst humanitarian crisis.

“In the first two hours, 160 cars drove away,” Andrei Rempel, a representative of Mariupol City Council, told Reuters.

Local authorities say up to 2,500 civilians have died so far, a number that cannot be independently confirmed.

According to the United Nations, more than 2.8 million people have left Ukraine since the war began.

“I am fleeing with my child because I want my child to live,” said a Ukrainian woman named Tanya, who said she traveled to Romania via the Danube from the city of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine. “Because the people who are there now are Russians, Russian soldiers, and they are killing children.”

Russia says it doesn’t target civilians.


According to France, the EU member states agreed on a fourth package of sanctions against Russia on Monday.

Details were not officially announced, but diplomatic sources said they would include an import ban on Russian steel and iron, an export ban on luxury goods and an investment ban in the energy sector. Chelsea football team owner Roman Abramovich and 14 others would be blacklisted by the EU, the sources said.

Japan on Tuesday announced asset freezes for 17 Russian people, including 11 members of Russia’s Duma or Parliament, five family members of banker Yuri Kovalchuk and billionaire Viktor Vekselberg.

Western-led sanctions have cut Russia off from key parts of global financial markets and frozen nearly half of the country’s $640 billion in gold and foreign exchange reserves, sparking the worst economic crisis since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Russia’s Treasury Ministry said it was preparing to service part of its foreign currency debt on Wednesday, but such payments will be made in rubles if sanctions prevent banks from servicing debts denominated in the issuing currency.

(Reporting by Reuters bureaus; Writing by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Michael Perry) The US warns China against helping Russia with increasing sanctions

Bobby Allyn

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