China's arms supply to Russia would mark major change – Lithuanian president's aide

  • 2023-03-21
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – If China decided to supply Russia with arms for its war in Ukraine, this would mark a major change both in ties between the two countries and in the West's attitude toward Beijing, Asta Skaisgiryte, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda's chief foreign policy adviser, said on Tuesday.

"This moment is important. If it were agreed that China supplies weapons to Russia and Russia uses these weapons against Ukraine, it would be quite a fundamental change in their relations and in the Western community's assessment," she told the Ziniu Radijas radio station.   

Although Beijing currently denies supplying arms to Moscow, there are well-founded concerns that dual-use goods are being shipped to Russia, according to the adviser. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held several hours of informal talks in Moscow on Monday and are to meet for formal talks on Tuesday. 

In Skaisgiryte's words, the Chinese leader "is trying to talk to Putin, as you can guess, about Ukraine, not just about bilateral relations". 

The advisor noted that Xi's visit comes just days after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Putin on the accusation of unlawfully deporting Ukrainian children.

"This fact does not prevent the Chinese leader from coming to Moscow. This apparently signals a certain disregard for the international institutions that were created under the banner of the United Nations," she said. 

Commenting on Putin's visit to the Russian-held Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, Skaisgiryte said that the aim was to "cynically demonstrate that this is Russia and that he is not afraid to go to Mariupol".