counter hit make

US urges Nato wariness over China’s support for Russia in Ukraine

US urges Nato wariness over China’s support for Russia in Ukraine
0 27

Ukraine war: US urges Nato partners to stay wary of China over its support for Russia

Washington has painted for its military allies across the Atlantic Ocean a stark picture of China’s role in supporting Russia’s war with Ukraine, arguing Beijing should not be able to boost Moscow while seeking to enjoy normal ties across Europe.

US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell briefed Nato counterparts in Brussels this week, highlighting Beijing’s assistance to Moscow “through the provision of dual-use components that are in essence enabling Russia to execute this war inside Ukraine”, according to Julianne Smith, US permanent representative to Nato, on Wednesday.

Campbell, formerly a national security adviser to US President Joe Biden on Indo-Pacific affairs, at his meeting on Tuesday said China’s objective extended beyond merely backing Russia.

Beijing sought to publicly downplay its support for Moscow, the envoy said, while trying to maintain normal diplomatic and economic relations with Europe.

Describing the meeting inside Nato headquarters as a “really critical moment”, Smith said the US, its partners and allies were doing “everything” to call out such support.

They were also trying to make known to the Chinese that “we don’t believe that they can credibly declare that they are neutral in Russia’s war inside Ukraine”.

It was “very clear” that China has “picked sides”, she said.

Smith contended that Moscow was receiving items from Beijing like machine tools, microelectronics, drone technology and nitrocellulose – the main ingredient of modern gunpowder but also used in certain lacquers and paints.

While Smith did not elaborate on what type of evidence Campbell offered, media reports in Europe said he had provided “as much detail and specifics as possible.”

Following the Nato briefing, Politico Europe reported that the State Department’s No 2 official said several European countries stated that maintaining a normal relationship with China would be “impossible” if it continued to “surreptitiously” abet what some have called the most destabilising European conflict since the Second World War.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attending a press conference in Chisinau, Moldova, on Wednesday. America’s top diplomat is slated to meet foreign ministers from Nato countries this week in Prague, Czech Republic. Photo: Reuters

Earlier this month, British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps disclosed at the London Defence Conference, an annual forum on security issues, that US and British military intelligence had uncovered “evidence Russia and China are collaborating on combat equipment for use in Ukraine”.

Shapps called the flow of “lethal aid” from China to Russia and subsequently into Ukraine “a significant development”.

In response to the British minister’s remarks, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan drew distance from Shapps, saying the Biden administration “to date” had not observed any plans for the delivery of lethal aid.

Sullivan said he looked forward to speaking with Britain to understand “better what exactly that comment was referring to”.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to join 31 foreign ministers from Nato countries in Prague from Thursday to Friday.

Smith on Wednesday said this week’s gathering would be “informal”, allowing ministers to discuss some of their intended deliverables in the run-up to the Nato summit in Washington in July.

Julianne Smith is the US ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Kyodo

The matter of Beijing’s position on Ukraine could be covered during the Prague ministerial meeting, she added, saying it “comes up quite regularly around the halls of the Nato alliance”.

As for the question of US support for Ukraine’s entry to Nato, Smith told reporters it was “unlikely” Kyiv would be invited to the July summit.

However, the Biden administration would do everything to help Ukraine “walk across that bridge to membership eventually”, she said.

At last year’s Nato summit in Vilnius, transatlantic security alliance leaders reached an agreement affirming that Ukraine’s future was aligned with the organisation, without establishing a timetable for accession.

“We will be in a position to extend an invitation to Ukraine to join the alliance when allies agree and conditions are met,” the declaration said.

Smith on Wednesday told reporters there would be “new language” in this year’s Nato summit declaration on Ukraine’s membership aspirations, saying “some very important and useful ideas” were circulating among alliance members now.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.