In a warning to China, the United States State Department Secretary Antony Blinken said that Beijing is considering supplying weapons to Russia which will affect the relationship and there will be “consequences.”
While addressing a press conference here, Mr Blinken said, “With regard to China and its support for Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, as we said from the start and… going back to the very beginning of Russia’s aggression was China engaged in lethal material support for Russia’s aggression or was engaged in systematic evasion of sanctions to help Russia that would be a serious problem for our countries.”
“When I saw senior foreign policy official Wang Yi (China)… I raised with him our concern on information that Chinese is considering supplying weapons to Russia, I said it would be a serious problem in our relationship with China and there would be consequences,” he added.
Blinken, who arrived in India on Wednesday evening, attended the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and also met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Mr Jaishankar and Mr Blinken reviewed ties and discussed global issues.
Meanwhile, in the presser, Mr Blinken also confirmed that he briefly had a conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“I spoke briefly with Russian FM Lavrov today,” said Mr Blinken on the sidelines of G20 in New Delhi.
“I urged Russia to reverse its irresponsible decision and return to implementing the New START, which places verifiable limits on the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Russian Federation. Mutual compliance is in the interest of both our countries. It’s also what people around the world expect from us as nuclear powers,” Mr Blinken added.
“I told the foreign minister that no matter what else is happening in the world or in our relationship, the United States will always be ready to engage and act on strategic arms control, just as the United States and the Soviet Union did even at the height of the Cold War,” he added.
The meeting was the first face-to-face meeting between the two foreign ministers since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began over a year ago and which triggered a rift between US-led Western countries and Russia.
He said that every country continues to bear the cost of Russia’s aggression.
“Every country continues to bear the cost of Russia’s aggression; A war that President Putin can end tomorrow if he chose to do so. We worked hard to prevent it,” said Mr Blinken in New Delhi.
Mr Blinken also reaffirmed Washington’s support for Ukraine’s peace proposal that maintains the country’s territorial integrity.
He also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying “PM Modi is right that there are challenges to the multilateral system. And those challenges in many ways are coming directly from Russia which is violating the principles that lie at the heart of that system.”