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WSJ: US drafting sanctions aimed at Chinese banks aiding Russia’s war effort

by Chris York and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 23, 2024 9:19 AM 3 min read
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Oct. 5, 2023. (Alejandro Cegarra/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Sanctions are being drafted by the U.S. that will threaten to cut off some Chinese banks from the global financial system, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on April 23, citing its unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

Washington hopes they will allow Secretary of State Antony Blinken to arrive armed with diplomatic leverage on a visit to China this week in a push to stop Beijing's commercial support of Russia's military production.

At a meeting of Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers on April 19, Blinken said China is the "primary contributor" to the Kremlin's military-industrial complex.

Reuters reported earlier in April, citing unnamed U.S. defense officials, that China is aiding Russia's war machine in Ukraine by providing machine tools, weapons technology, and satellite imagery.

China is also thought to be supplying Russia with semiconductors and other dual-use technologies that can be used for military purposes.

Blinken: China ‘primary contributor’ to Russia’s military-industrial complex
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that China is supplying Russia with semiconductors and other dual-use technologies that can be used for military purposes.

“This has ultimately enabled the Kremlin to speed up its weapons production, including armor, artillery, missiles, and drones, and put up an effective defense against Ukraine’s 2023 counteroffensive,” Max Bergmann, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, told the WSJ.

According to the WSJ, officials hope diplomatic pressure will avert the need to take any action that could break fragile relations between China and the U.S.

"Cutting banks off from access to the dollar—the denomination of most of the global trade—has much broader implications than normal sanctions targeting individuals and firms, and so are often reserved as a last resort," it added.

Blinken and other U.S. officials have previously warned China against providing Russia with lethal military aid and urged Beijing to use its influence over Moscow to help end the war.

"China can't have it both ways. It can't afford that. You want to have positive, friendly relations with countries in Europe, and at the same time, you are fueling the biggest threat to European security since the end of the Cold War," Blinken said on April 19.

Russia’s war effort may not be as formidable as it looks
Russia’s war machine has shown remarkable stamina despite the hundreds of thousands of troops it is estimated to have lost in Ukraine. But under the hood, it may be less resilient than it looks. With its high oil export revenues, Russia has been able to replace its losses and


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