NATO leader’s warning to China if it does not stop supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine


China will have to face consequences for supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine if it does not change its way of acting, the NATO secretary general told the BBC.

Jens Stoltenberg stated that Beijing is “trying to achieve both”; that is, supporting Russia’s war effort and preserving its relations with the members of the Atlantic alliance.

“This can’t work long termStoltenberg told BBC News during a visit to Washington. In a wide-ranging interview, the alliance leader also talked about nuclear weapons and defense spending. His comments come at a time when Russia shows no signs of de-escalating its war against Ukraine.

Putin has found his most valuable ally in Xi JinpingGETTY IMAGES

At a peace summit in Switzerland over the weekend, dozens of nations pledged to support Kyiv, but Russia called this a waste of time and announced it will only agree to peace talks if Ukraine surrenders.

Asked what NATO members could do about China’s support for Russia, Stoltenberg responded that there is an “ongoing conversation” about possible sanctions.

He indicated that China is “sharing a lot of technologies”such as microelectronics, “which are key for Russia to build missiles, weapons that it uses against Ukraine.”

The alliance seeks to strengthen the capabilities of its membersGETTY IMAGES

He added that “at some point we should consider some kind of economic cost if China does not change its way of acting.”

Beijing already faces some sanctions for its support of Russia: last month, the United States announced restrictions that would affect about 20 companies based in China and Hong Kong.

China has defended its business with Moscow, saying it does not sell lethal weapons and “prudently handles the export of dual-use items in accordance with laws and regulations.”

While Stoltenberg visited Washington, the Kremlin confirmed that Vladimir Putin will land in North Korea on Tuesday. The trip to Pyongyang follows his visit to China last month.

Russia has become increasingly isolated on the world stage since launching its full-scale war with Ukraine in February 2022.

Putin has repeatedly claimed that the West’s balance of power is changing and has worked to strengthen ties with ideologically like-minded leaders. “At this moment Russia is increasingly aligning itself with authoritarian leaders“Stoltenberg told the BBC, listing Iran, China and North Korea.

He explained that Kim Jong-un’s regime has sent artillery shells to Russia, which in return has provided it with advanced technology for its nuclear and missile programs. “So, North Korea is helping Russia to perpetrate a war of aggression against Ukraine,” he noted.

Many of the Russian weapons have technology that comes from China, according to NATOGETTY IMAGES

Ahead of a meeting with US President Joe Biden, the NATO chief also announced that more than 20 nations are expected to meet a target of the 2% in defense spending in 2024more than any other year since this goal was set in 2014. “This is good for Europe and for the United States, especially since much of this extra money is spent here in the United States,” he said.

Stoltenberg also commented on his statements to The Telegraph last Sunday, when he stated that NATO could be considering increase the number of deployable warheads as a deterrent against growing threats from Russia and China. The comments were criticized as “another escalation of tension” by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

But Stoltenberg defended them as a “general message” that NATO is a nuclear alliance and that any attack on one of its members “will provoke an alliance-wide response.” “The purpose of NATO is not to wage war, the purpose is to avoid war”he pointed out.

BBC World

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