• The White House sent Jake Sullivan to meet a top Chinese official in Rome on Monday.
  • Sullivan said Sunday that China will face “consequences” if it helps Russia evade sanctions.
  • Russia asked China to provide military and economic support since invading Ukraine, per reports.

The White House sent National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to meet a top Chinese official to discuss the Ukraine crisis, after warning there would be “consequences” if China helps Russia evade sanctions.

Sullivan and Yang Jiechi, China’s top diplomat, are meeting in Rome on Monday to “discuss the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine on regional and global security,” the White House said Sunday. 

The trip followed multiple reports over the weekend that Russia has asked China for economic support and military equipment to help it bolster its invasion of Ukraine. 

Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Sullivan said the US told China there “will absolutely be consequences” if it tries to help Russia evade Western sanctions.

Following the invasion of Ukraine, the US, UK, and EU froze Russian assets and foreign reserves, and targeted banks and individuals they said are linked to President Vladimir Putin.

Sullivan said the US would not allow “a lifeline to Russia from these economic sanctions from any country, anywhere in the world.”

Both China and Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov denied that Russia asked for assistance.

“The allegations on the matter disseminated by the US are false information,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Monday, according to the state-run TASS Russian news agency.

Though China and Russia have grown closer in recent years, China is chosing to sit on the fence rather than condemn the invasion of Ukraine.

However, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Friday that “the current situation there is grave, and China is deeply concerned and grieved.”

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