Germany’s chancellor doubled down, warning of “consequences” if China sends weapons to Russia
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has stepped up calls for China to stop sending arms to Russia as it invades Ukraine. He also said there would be “consequences” if the proposal was ignored.
Scholz’s announcement came two days after he met with President Joe Biden in Washington. Before them, US officials warned that China could become more involved in the war by supplying arms and ammunition to Moscow.
“I think there could be consequences, but we’re at a stage now where we’re explaining that this shouldn’t be the case, and I’m optimistic that our application will be successful in this case, but we have to look at ((it)) and we have to be very careful,” Scholz said. in an interview that aired on Sunday.
The German chancellor did not elaborate on possible actions by Germany, NATO or the European Union.
GERMAN CHANCELLOR OLAF SCHOLZ CALLS ON CHINA NOT TO SEND ARMS TO RUSSIA
During the interview, Scholz said that he is optimistic that Beijing will stop supplying weapons. He also called on Beijing to pressure Moscow to withdraw its forces from Ukraine.
Scholz has since returned to Germany, where he and his cabinet met European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday. After the meeting, he spoke more about a possible arms delivery.
RUSSIA AND CHINA ARE IN AN UNOFFICIAL ARMS RACE, EXPERTS
At a press conference, a reporter asked the United States whether it had seen concrete evidence that China was considering this option, and whether Germany would impose sanctions on China, its biggest trading partner in recent years, if the weapons were sent.
The German chancellor replied: “We all agree that arms should not be delivered, and the Chinese government has declared that they will not be delivered. We demand it and we will monitor it.”
He did not provide further details or directly respond to a question about the sanctions.
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The president of the European Commission also spoke, saying that he had not seen any evidence that China was supplying Russia with weapons, but that he would continue to monitor the situation.
“We have to monitor it every day,” Von der Leyen said.
He said the idea that the EU might impose sanctions “is a hypothetical question that can only be answered if it is true and factual.”
While Iran supplied Russia with weapons and drones, many European countries and the United States helped Ukraine by supplying the country with tanks and planes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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