The European Union warned China that supplying Russia with weapons would be crossing a “red line”

Josep Borrell, EU diplomatic chief (via REUTERS) (POOL/)

The European Union (EU) warned on Monday China that the eventual supply of arms to Russia for use in Ukraine it would be a “red line” for relations between the bloc and the Asian giant.

The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said that had a conversation with a senior Chinese official and explained that this step “would be a red line in our relations.” According to Borrell, the official responded that “they did not intend to, but we remain vigilant.”

The Chinese government denied on Monday that it is considering sending weapons to Russia.

Borrell made these remarks upon reaching a meeting of EU foreign ministers, meeting whose agenda is dominated by the situation in Ukraine. The head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kuleba, had planned to participate in this meeting in person, although his visit was canceled at the last minute.

This week will mark one year of Russia’s offensive against Ukraine, and EU ministers are discussing details of their tenth package of sanctions against Russian officials, companies and institutions.

EU countries are also feverishly discussing ways to increase its production of ammunition and shells to allow Ukraine to maintain its resistance to the Russian offensive.

The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, had mentioned during an interview on Sunday that China was considering supplying Russia with “lethal support” for use in Ukraine. On Monday, he reiterated his warnings, noting that if Beijing does send weapons, it will have “a real problem in its relations with many other countries, not just the United States.”

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State (Reuters)
Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State (Reuters) (KEVIN LAMARQUE /)

“We are concerned that China is considering supporting Russia’s war effort in Ukraine with lethal aid, something that we are watching very, very closely,” said the head of US diplomacy at a press conference in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart. Mevlut Cavusoglu.

“I’m not going to lay out what the consequences would be,” Blinken added. “I think China understands the risk it would take if it provided that kind of material support to Russia,” he said.

This same Monday, the spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry described Blinken’s statements as “false”, adding that “it is the United States and not China that is constantly sending weapons to the battlefield”.

The EU and China discussed an agreement on reciprocal investment protection for years, which was announced at the end of 2020, but the tensions in the relations have meant that the talks have remained practically at a standstill since then.

Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, China has maintained an ambiguous position within which it has called for respect for “the territorial integrity of all countries”, including Ukraine, and attention to the “legitimate concerns of all countries”, in reference to Russia.

“China’s position on the crisis in Ukraine can be summed up in one sentence, and that is to promote peace and dialogue. It is what the international community is asking for,” Wang added.

(With information from AFP and EFE)

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