The Kremlin also denied reports that it had requested Chinese military gear to be used in the war.
In Rome, Jake Sullivan, the U.S. advisor, and Yang Jiechi (senior Chinese foreign policy adviser) met. The Biden administration became increasingly concerned that China is using Ukraine war to advance Beijing’s long-term interests in its competition with America.
Sullivan sought clarity about Beijing's position and warned the Chinese that any assistance to Russia, including helping it avoid sanctions imposed by the U.S. or Western allies, would prove costly.
"The national security advisor and our delegation raised directly, very clearly, our concerns about Russia's support for the PRC in the aftermath of the invasion and the implications that such support would have on the PRC's relationships not only with us but also around the globe," stated Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department. He used the initials of the People's Republic of China.
Two administration officials stated that the U.S. determined that China had indicated to Russia that it was willing to provide both military support to the campaign in Ukraine as well as financial support to offset the negative effects of the severe sanctions imposed on the West. Officials said the assessment was relayed earlier Monday to Asian partners and allies.
One official said that Moscow had received a positive reply from Beijing. He was referring to a diplomatic cable sent by the U.S. to embassies, asking them to notify their host governments. Officials spoke only on condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive information.
Sullivan stated during an intense seven-hour meeting, that the Biden administration is deeply concerned about China's alliance with Russia. Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said.
Psaki declined comment to say whether the U.S. believes China provided Russians with economic, military or other assistance.
Sullivan warned China that it was not going to help Russia evade sanctions. These have harmed the Russian economy. He stated, "We won't allow that to happen." Russia denied that it required China's assistance Monday.
"No, Russia has its potential to continue the operations, which, like we have stated, is unfolding according to the plan and will not be completed on schedule and in full," Dmitry Peskov said, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson.
According to three U.S. officials, White House officials are discussing the possibility that Biden could travel to Europe to meet with allies and have in-person talks regarding the crisis in Ukraine. Officials spoke under condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly about the matter and said that the trip was still in the planning stages. According to one official, one possibility is a visit at NATO headquarters in Brussels on 24 March with other possible stops in Europe.
Biden is concerned about China offering financial assistance to Russia. According to a U.S. official, Russia has asked for support from China in recent days. This includes military equipment in order to continue its war with Ukraine. The official spoke under anonymity in order to not reveal details about the request.
Since the beginning of the war, the Russians have suffered significant losses in tanks, helicopters, and other material. Despite being outmatched by Russian forces in the war, Ukraine is well-equipped for anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft weapons. Russia and China have limited interoperability in their weapons systems, and it is not known what weapons China might be short of.
Biden's administration also accuses China of spreading Russian disinformation, which could be used as a pretext by Putin's forces for attacking Ukraine with chemical and biological weapons.
China's invading of Ukraine has placed it in a difficult spot with its two biggest trading partners, the United States and the European Union. China is dependent on these markets but it has also shown support for Moscow by joining Russia in declaring a friendship that "no bounds."
When Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, was asked about the Russian request for assistance, Zhao Lijian replied that the U.S. had been spreading disinformation against China in recent months over the Ukraine issue. It is malicious."
Zhao stated that it was urgent for all parties to exercise restraint, and work together to calm the situation. We should encourage diplomatic settlements, rather than further escalate the situation.
Biden administration officials claim that Beijing is spreading false Russian claims about Ukraine's chemical and biological weapon labs. They claim that China provides cover in the event Russia launches a chemical or biological weapons attack against Ukrainians.
Sullivan stated Sunday that Russia accusing other countries is a sign they are preparing for chemical or biological attacks.
John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesperson, stated that "we haven’t seen anything that suggests some kind of imminent chemical attack or biological attack right at the moment, but we’re watching this very closely."
After Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, claimed that there was no evidence that the U.S. had funded Ukrainian chemical and biological weapon labs.
Zhao, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, repeated the Russian claim. Zhao claimed that there were 26 biolabs and other related facilities under "absolute control of the U.S. Department of Defense." The United Nations said it had not received any information to support such claims.
According to an anonymous source familiar with the administration's view, there is increasing concern that China is aligning with Russia in Ukraine in order to advance Beijing's vision of the world order in the long-term. The person spoke under condition of anonymity as the official was not authorized to speak publicly.
China is one of the few countries that has not criticized Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Xi Jinping, China's leader, hosted Putin at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. This was just three weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th. The two leaders signed a 5,000 word statement declaring their "friendship" and unlimited cooperation during Putin's visit.
China abstained from U.N. votes to censuring Russia, and has criticised economic sanctions against Moscow. There are still questions about how far Beijing will go in its attempt to isolate the West and threaten its economy.
Jose Manuel Albares, the Spanish Foreign Minister, stated Monday that he had requested Wang Yi from China to use Beijing's influence to end the war.
Albares said to Wang Monday that "We are at an historic moment that requires responsibility, vision of all global leaders," according to a statement by the Spanish ministry.