US pledges to help India end its dependence on Russian weapons

A senior US diplomat again warned China of sanctions if it offers “material support” for Russian President Putin’s war in Ukraine, while also pledging to help India end its dependence on Russian weapons. China wasn’t helping the situation in Ukraine by doing things like amplifying Russian disinformation campaigns, US deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman said at an event in Brussels on Thursday. She said she hoped Beijing will learn the “right lessons” from Russia’s war, including that it can’t separate the US from its allies.

“They have seen what we have done in terms of sanctions, export controls, designations, vis-a-vis Russia, so it should give them some idea of the menu from which we could choose if indeed China were to provide material support,” Sherman told a crowd at an event hosted by the group Friends of Europe, which is cofunded by the EU. Sherman also said the US would work with India to help the country move away from its traditional reliance on Russian weapons, given the impact global sanc- tions are having on Russia’s arms industry. “They understand that their military, which was built on Russian weapons, probably doesn’t have a future with Russian weapons anymore because our sanctions have pulled back the military-industrial complex of Russia — and it’s not coming back anytime soon,” she said.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday at a press briefing in Beijing that Sherman’s remarks amounted to “the old trick of smearing China. ” He repeated that Beijing’s “position on the Ukraine issue is above board, objective and beyond reproach. ” China said this week it plans to continue strengthening strategic ties with Russia, showing the relationship remains solid despite growing concerns over war crimes committed by Putin’s forces. At the same time, Chinese companies have been complying with US sanctions even though the government opposes them on grounds of sovereignty. India is also supporting calls for a ceasefire and diplomatic solution while abstaining at the UN on votes for draft resolutions condemning Russia. Meanwhile, asenior diplomat for the Czech Republic, which will assume the EU’s rotating presidency later this year, warned Beijing that its cooperation with Moscow risks undercutting ties with Brussels.

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