US envoy to NATO claims Beijing has taken Russia's side in war, despite claims of neutrality
Julianne Smith (Photo: EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ)

US Permanent Representative to NATO Julianne Smith claims that China continues to help Russia achieve its military goals in Ukraine by selling goods such as drone technology or gunpowder components, and therefore cannot claim complete neutrality, the diplomat said in an interview with Politico.

"The PRC cannot claim to be entirely neutral in this case, [and] they are in fact picking a side. I think when the PRC tries to portray itself as neutral, when it comes to this war, we don't buy it," Smith said.

The ambassador also emphasized that the United States is "increasingly seeing materiel support" for the Russian Federation from China, and pointed out that these dual-use goods played a decisive role in helping Moscow achieve some of its goals against Ukraine.

"If they were not providing some of these components, or this materiel support, Russia would be in a very different situation and would have trouble pursuing some of these acts of aggression," she stressed.

China provides Russia with "machine tools, microelectronics, UAV technologies and nitrocellulose that is used as a propellant," said the envoy.

Smith noted that there is currently no evidence that Beijing provides direct "lethal support" to Moscow, but provides goods that are used for both military and civilian purposes.

"We see, in many cases, the flow of dual-use components that are in essence enabling Russia to undertake this unprovoked war of aggression in Ukraine," the diplomat concluded.

On April 8, 2024, the spokeswoman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that her country "did not and does not seek" benefits from the war in Ukraine, and urged not to harm Sino-Russian relations.

On April 10, the United States warned that it would hold China responsible if Russia succeeds in Ukraine amid deepening cooperation between Moscow and Beijing.

China reacted to the words about Beijing's responsibility for Russia's successes in Ukraine, saying that China will not accept "criticism or pressure" because of its ties with Moscow.