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'China is a decisive enabler of Russia's illegal war against Ukraine,' Stoltenberg says

by Martin Fornusek July 11, 2024 10:42 AM 2 min read
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a NATO 75th anniversary celebratory event at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium on July 9, 2024, in Washington, DC. (Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)
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NATO allies agree that Beijing is a "decisive enabler" of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on July 10 at the alliance's summit in Washington.

China as a threat to NATO's interests and security was mentioned in the joint member states' statement, which Stoltenberg called "the first time that all NATO members state this so clearly in an agreed document."

China has positioned itself as neutral in the ongoing war but has deepened economic ties with Russia and become Moscow's leading source of dual-use goods that feed the Russian defense industry.

In its statement, NATO called on China to cease supplying Russia with "weapons components, equipment, and raw materials," saying that Beijing "cannot enable the largest war in Europe in recent history without this negatively impacting its interests and reputation."

While the allies did not specify what the possible repercussions would be, Chinese companies have already come under U.S. and EU sanctions over helping Russia avoid sanctions or supplying it with dual-use goods.

The statement is a major turn as many European countries have been hesitant to call out China due to the latter's role as a key economic partner.

The Chinese leadership has denied supporting either side of the war and claimed that its ties with Russia do not go beyond the confines of a "normal" relationship, while underscoring its close partnership with Moscow.

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