China faces consequences if it helps Russia evade sanctions: Jake Sullivan


China will not go unpunished if it helps Russia evade economic sanctions imposed in response to its invasion of Ukraine, national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday.

The White House official made it clear that such actions would “absolutely” have consequences for Beijing and explained that the United States is closely monitoring any support China is currently providing to Russia.

“We are communicating directly, privately to Beijing, that there will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions-busting efforts or support for Russia to fulfill them,” he said. “We will not allow this to continue and for there to be a lifeline for Russia from these economic sanctions from any country, anywhere in the world.”

China will not go unpunished if it helps Russia evade economic sanctions imposed in response to its invasion of Ukraine, national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Sullivan will meet Yang Jiechi, a senior Chinese diplomat, in Rome on Monday. The invasion would be a major talking point at the meeting, according to Reuters, due to China’s efforts to seemingly align itself with Russia. The White House allegedly has no specific outcome in mind for the meeting.

China remains a major trade ally for Russia, constituting its first exporter, and has notably refrained from qualifying its action in Ukraine as an “invasion”. He did, however, say he respects Ukraine’s sovereignty, with Chinese President Xi Jinping calling for “maximum restraint” from Russia.

Jinping shares concerns about the effect of international sanctions on energy and supply chains. Reuters reported that China was potentially having difficulty importing Russian oil due to the litany of global sanctions imposed by Western powers.

The White House is said to be concerned that Russia has reached out to China for military equipment and other forms of support, according to a report by the FinancialTimes, raising the possibility that the latter are working to undermine efforts to help the Ukrainians. These requests have reportedly been made since the start of the invasion in late February.

During a meeting last week between Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, European leaders implored China to act as a mediator in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Also present at the summit, European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said there was no alternative in the matter.

“We [Europeans] can’t be the mediators, that’s clear,” Borrell said. “And it can’t be the United States either. Who else? It must be China.”


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