Remember yesterday when Russia asked China for some help? Well, according to US intelligence, China has “signaled willingness” to give both military and economic aid to Russia for the fight in Ukraine.
“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.
But China and Russia say that that back alley convo never happened.
A spokesman for the foreign ministry in Beijing, Zhao Lijian, said that the US has “been spreading disinformation targeting China on the Ukraine issue, with malicious intentions.” Russia insists that the country “possesses its own independent potential to continue the operation. As we said, it is going according to plan and will be completed on time and in full," said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.
And speaking of calling things something different than what they are, both Ukrainian and Russian officials said they were optimistic about talks between the two countries on Monday. Of course, they said that before the talks actually happened. As soon as it started, though, the sentiment changed, with one negotiator calling the talks “hard” right after they had started.
But you know who was happy about these talks? Oil consumers, so pretty much everyone here. With this, the price of oil dropped about 6% on Monday. But some say that has something to do with the 17.5 million people locked down in China who are therefore not guzzling gas like usual.
“The parties actively express their specified positions,” said Ukrainian presidential adviser and negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak on Twitter. “Communication is being held yet it’s hard. The reason for the discord is too different political systems. [Ukraine] is a free dialogue within the society & an obligatory consensus. [Russia] is an ultimatum suppression of its own society.”