- Putin is “aggressively” trying to make China his ally, a White House official said.
- John Kirby told MSNBC that Russia needs China because he is “running out of ammunition” in Ukraine.
- Western officials have previously said Russia is facing high losses and low supplies in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is “aggressively” seeking China as an ally because Russian forces are “running out of ammunition” in Ukraine, a White House official told MSNBC on Tuesday.
“President Putin needs President Xi because he’s running out of ammunition,” John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications for the National Security Council at the White House, told MSNBC. “He’s running out of the kind of inventory he needs to fight this war, and it’s likely that he is going to be looking for more help from China.”
Kirby echoed a similar sentiment in his White House briefing on Monday. He called the relationship between Putin and Xi a “marriage of convenience” that gives China an ally against the West and Russia the support to wage its war in Ukraine.
He also told reporters in the briefing that the US is concerned China will reiterate its calls for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine.
“And any ceasefire that does not address the removal of Russian forces from Ukraine would effectively ratify Russia’s illegal conquests, enabling Russia to entrench its positions and then to restart the war at a more advantageous time for them,” Kirby said.
NATO and its allies have become increasingly concerned in recent months that China will send lethal military aid to Russia, including ammunition.