NATO does not have any evidence that China is supplying Russia with weapons or ammunition to maintain the offensive on Ukraine, but instead it does have evidence that Moscow has officially requested it from one of its few remaining relevant partners on the board. international. This was stated this Tuesday by the Secretary General of the Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, at the press conference for the presentation of the 2022 Annual Report.
The eyes of Brussels and Washington have been fixed on Beijing for a long time. China's ambiguous role is neither news nor surprise. On the one hand, it calls for an end to hostilities from day one and vindicates the importance of the concept of sovereignty, but at the same time it criticizes international sanctions and the role of the US much more harshly. A year ago he said that he had no influence over Vladimir Putin, but at the same time in recent weeks, since the Munich Security Conference, he has been postulating himself as a mediator, proposing to all parties a peace plan that bypasses the fire and withdrawal from the occupied territories in exchange for removing the sanctions that the EU and the White House have imposed.
The suspicions are many. Washington has been threatening for weeks to publish intelligence information that would supposedly show the contacts at the highest level for Beijing to provide weapons to Moscow. Xi Jinping has just met Putin for the second time, breaking the isolation of the Russian autocrat. "The meeting is part of a pattern we have seen for years whereby Russia and China are getting closer, economically, diplomatically and politically, doing common exercises and even seeing each other just a few weeks before the invasion," Stoltenberg said. , but "we have not seen any evidence that China has sent lethal weapons to Russia."
The secretary general, however, has indicated that the allies "have seen signs" that this lethal help has been requested, because although the aggressor has certain support in the United Nations General Assembly, small countries or dictatorships such as Syria and North Korea and Iran barely has access to foreign weapons or ammunition. The EU has already approved sanctions on Tehran for providing drones, but despite some published reports of possible arms or ammunition shipments, NATO says that has not happened. "China must not provide lethal aid to Russia, that would be supporting an illegal war and would only prolong the fighting" and would have consequences, the Norwegian said. "If it wants to take peace seriously, China should start by listening and understanding kyiv's perspective and establishing contacts with President Zelensky," he concluded.
Although last July, after the Madrid summit, NATO assumed that Sweden and Finland would join the Alliance together and soon, the reality is that this is going to be impossible. Turkey has lifted the blockade for the Finns, but maintains that of Sweden. So the process is going to be split. "The important thing is that they join, not at the same time. We will work hard for Sweden to do it as soon as possible. Turkey is ready to ratify Finland. I welcome this news and hopefully it will happen before the elections In addition, the Hungarian Parliament will vote on Finland next week", said the Secretary General, alluding to the other obstacle, the delay generated by Viktor Orban.
Stoltenberg has said he has "no doubt" that Sweden will be a member sooner or later, but he did not dare to offer an estimate. Right now it seems very complicated that it could be for July, when another summit will be held at the highest level in Lithuania. "It is my first priority", he said during the presentation of the report, insisting that contacts with Recep Tayip Erdogan are constant and will continue to be so.
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