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Russia has sought military assistance from China to support its ongoing ‘military operation’ in Ukraine, The Financial Times reported, citing US officials.
The move comes as the US National Security advisor Jake Sullivan is scheduled to meet Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in Rome today.
According to the report, Russia has requested military equipment and other forms of assistance from China. The US officials did not divulge the details of the weaponry Russia had requested.
In response to the report, the spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in the US Liu Pengyu was quoted as saying: “I’ve never heard of that.”
China has maintained a neutral tone to the ongoing crisis, and encouraged a negotiated solution.
The US is set to send an additional $200m worth of defence materiel to Ukraine, as the conflict extends into its third week.
The armoury shipment is expected to include small arms, and anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, reported Reuters.
This comes after the US Congress approved $13.6bn in aid for Ukraine, as part of a $1.5tn government funding package.
Since January last year, the US’ security assistance to Ukraine has totalled more than $1.2bn.
The European Commission is also working to double military aid to Ukraine. It has proposed an additional €500m for the purpose, subject to approval by the members.
It was recently reported that the UK is planning to send STARStreak high-velocity, man-portable, anti-air missiles to Ukraine. These anti-aircraft missiles can destroy helicopters and high-speed, ground-attack aircraft.
Russia and Ukraine are scheduled to hold the third round of diplomatic talks on 14 March, as the invading forces move closer to Kyiv. According to news reports, the representatives of the two countries will meet via video conference.