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Allies believe China developing attack drones to aid Russia, Bloomberg reports

by Dmytro Basmat July 3, 2024 4:45 AM 2 min read
Photo for illustrative purposes: China's President Xi Jinping is welcomed by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin (R) during the opening ceremony of "The Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia" in Moscow, on March 22, 2013. (Sergei Ilnitsky/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Chinese companies are allegedly developing attack drones similar to the Iranian-produced Shahed-type drone to aid Russia in its war against Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on July 2, citing European officials familiar with the matter.

According to Bloomberg, Chinese and Russian companies held talks in 2023 to develop an attack drone similar to the mass-produced Shahed drone, multiple unnamed European officials told the news outlet.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the drones have not yet been used in Ukraine.

Although China officially maintains a neutral stance on Russia's full-scale war in Ukraine and denies providing lethal aid, Beijing and Moscow continue to strengthen their ties, underscored by Russian leader Vladimir Putin's visit to Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in May.

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Various countries, including the United States, have accused China of continuously aiding Russia's war machine in Ukraine by providing machine tools, weapons technology, satellite imagery, semiconductors, and other dual-use technologies.

"Here inside NATO, we’re making sure that we can expose the fact that the PRC is no longer a neutral player and warn China about the risk of getting behind Russia in this unprovoked war of aggression," U.S. Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith told Bloomberg Television.

In a statement to Bloomberg, Liu Pengyu, spokesperson for China’s embassy in the U.S., denied that China is providing lethal aid to Russia, and called on Western countries "to immediately stop fueling the fight and inciting confrontation."

NATO allies have repeatedly warned China against providing Russia with lethal military aid and urged Beijing to use its influence over Moscow to help end the war.

Iran has been producing Shahed-type drones for Russia since the beginning of the full-scale invasion in February 2022. The drones, which typically carry explosives, are inexpensive to produce en-masse but relatively expensive to down.

Xi, Putin to participate in Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Astana
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who skipped Ukraine’s peace summit in June, is expected to participate in the event in Astana as well, the U.N. in Kazakhstan reported on X.

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3:53 PM

6 injured in Kharkiv after Russia's 5th attack in single day.

Also on July 24, a Russian missile attack against the town of Lozova killed one person, injured four, and damaged an infrastructure facility. Search for two more people who may be trapped underneath the rubble is ongoing, Governor Oleh Syniehubov said.
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