OAN Deven Berryhill
UPDATED 12:36 PM PT – Monday, February 20, 2023
Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese diplomats at the Munich conference to discuss concerns regarding a possible meeting with Chinese President Xi Jin Ping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
This comes as China may be making plans to help the Kremlin by providing military assistance in their operations in Ukraine and help circumvent economic sanctions to Russia in military operations in the war-torn country.
Blinken met on Saturday with Chinese diplomat Wang Yi to discuss the “spy balloons” as well as China’s “no limits” friendship with Moscow. Blinken said that up to this point, the Kremlin had only provided “rhetorical, political and diplomatic support to Russia.” The Secretary of State has also shown concern regarding the potential talks between the two presidents.
Blinken had criticized potential meeting between Xi and Putin, citing that it may lead to further “lethal support” against Ukraine.
Tensions mounted as Wang then flew from the Munich conference to Moscow.
On Monday morning, the Chinese spokesman met with Kremlin diplomat Dmitry Peskov. The Kremlin spokesman told reporters that “we don’t rule out” Putin meeting with President Xi in the near future. He described the relationship between Russia and China as “multidimensional and allied in nature.”
Up to this point, China had refused to criticize Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. U.S. and NATO officials have shown concern as tracks have now been laid for Xi and Putin to meet.
Following the Munich conference, the U.S. secretary spoke publicly warning Beijing about helping Moscow circumvent economic sanctions imposed by NATO.
While talks between Wang and Peskov commenced on Monday, President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv. Biden and Zelensky’s met for the first time in Kyiv on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.