EU has ‘very reliable evidence’ China is considering military support for Russia

EU leaders are in possession of “very reliable evidence” that China is considering military assistance to Russia, a senior EU official told POLITICO, threatening potential trade measures if weapons’ deliveries go ahead.

It follows a similar warning from U.S. officials earlier this week that the Russian government had asked China for military equipment and other support, as POLITICO and other media outlets reported. A subsequent Financial Times report said China signaled openness to the request. It is not immediately clear whether the latest EU information derives from the same sources or Europe’s own intelligence.

“EU leaders have very reliable evidence that China is considering providing military aid to Russia. All the leaders are very aware of what’s going on,” the senior EU official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak publicly about confidential information.

He did not say what kind of assistance Moscow had requested.

“We are concerned about the fact that China is flirting with the Russians,” he added. The EU will “impose trade barriers against China” should Beijing proceed with Russia’s request, he said, as “this is the only language Beijing understands.”

The EU-China summit, scheduled for April 1 with President Xi Jinping, will go on as scheduled, as confirmed in a meeting with all EU countries’ top representatives in Brussels on Friday.

The deepening Ukraine crisis is seen as a test to the strength of the Russia-China relations. Beijing has repeatedly dismissed U.S. reports about its involvement in the Ukraine crisis as “disinformation.

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