On Sunday, Russian missiles hit a military training facility in Ukraine, but only about 25 kilometers from the Polish border. So far, the missile strike isn’t seen as an act of aggression on anyone but Ukraine. But Poland is a NATO country, which means that NATO members would send military assistance to Poland if attacked.
In US President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address earlier this month, he said that the US was prepared to “defend every inch” of NATO territory if provoked.
After the missile strike on Yavoriv military base, which Ukrainian officials say came from the sky, they reiterated the call for a no-fly zone over the country. Russian Ministry of Defense spokesperson Igor Konashenkov claimed that, in the strike, “up to 180 foreign mercenaries and a large consignment of foreign weapons were destroyed.”
When Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesperson Markiyan Lubkivsky was asked about this, he said, “This is not the truth. Pure Russian propaganda.”
All the while, the US has said that Russia’s asking China for military help in its invasion of Ukraine. Those officials are also saying that Russia’s asking China for economic support after becoming the most sanctioned country in the world. This is making the West nervous since it would mean that Beijing is essentially on the other side of this war. So now, the US and China are meeting in Rome on Monday.
“We are communicating directly, privately to Beijing, that there will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions evasion efforts or support to Russia to backfill them,” said Jake Sullivan, the White House National Security Advisor.
US officials have said that, so far, China has been abiding by the sanctions against Russia from the international community. Sullivan added that even though the US thinks “China, in fact, was aware before the invasion took place that Vladimir Putin was planning something, they may not have understood the full extent of it. Because it’s very possible that Putin lied to them the same way that he lied to Europeans and others."
China hasn’t responded to the claims yet, since neither Russia nor China has made these requests public.