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Ukraine's military intelligence says no evidence of China supplying Russia with weaponry

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 20, 2023 9:59 PM 1 min read
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Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate has no evidence of China providing Russia with weapons, the directorate's spokesperson Andrii Yusov said on March 20.

According to Yusov, as cited by the Ukrinform news outlet, Russia has bought commercially available Chinese-made drones or civilian products with microcircuits suitable for military use. However, interstate aid has not been confirmed.

Yusov added that information on China's supply of rifles or body armor to Russia was being checked, but there is currently no evidence of such cooperation.

Trade and customs data between June and December 2022 showed that Chinese companies had exported 1,000 assault rifles and other equipment, such as drone parts and body armor, to Russian entities, Politico reported on March 16.

Yusov's statement comes amid Chinese President Xi Jinping's three-day visit to Russia, which the military official called "a visit of a strong regional leader to a country that is undergoing geopolitical defeat."

"As a pragmatic geopolitical player, China will strengthen its position on Russia's territory, protecting its own economic and other national interests exclusively," Yusov said. "Russia will become less and less a subject, more and more dependent on other players… Putin's regime will continue to weaken."

Chinese leader Xi arrived in Moscow on March 20 for his first state visit to Russia since the beginning of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year. At a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Xi said Moscow and Beijing "share similar goals."

Xi's meeting with Putin is a part of a push for multilateral peace negotiations as Beijing claims it wants to play a more active role in ending the war against Ukraine.

Multiple U.S. officials have publicly stated over the past month that China was considering providing lethal aid to Russia.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN on Feb. 27 that there would be "real costs" for China if the country makes such a decision.

WSJ: China's Xi Jinping to speak to Zelensky after his Moscow visit
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