Accessibility links

Breaking News

UK says China is supplying ‘lethal aid’ to Russia for use in Ukraine

FILE - Britain's Defence Secretary Grant Shapps arrives in Downing Street for a cabinet meeting in London, March 6, 2024.
FILE - Britain's Defence Secretary Grant Shapps arrives in Downing Street for a cabinet meeting in London, March 6, 2024.

British Secretary of State for Defense Grant Shapps accused Russia and China on Wednesday of collaborating on combat equipment for use in the two-year-long war in Ukraine.

“They’re covering each other’s back,” Shapps said at the London Defense Conference. He later said Britain has evidence that China is supplying Russia with “lethal aid” without providing evidence.

The accusation comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Beijing.

Beijing and Moscow established a “no limits” relationship just days before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington said last month it is "not a producer of or party involved in the Ukraine crisis." It rejected claims that China assists Russia in military efforts in Ukraine.

Shapps said there has been a 64% growth in trade between the two countries since the invasion. His accusation marks the first time Britain has accused China of supplying arms to Russia for use in Ukraine.

U.S. officials said last month that China has aided Moscow’s production of missiles, tanks and aircrafts through the sale of machine tools, microelectronics and other technology.

He said Britain stepped up its support to Ukraine this fiscal year, increasing its military support to the eastern European country to more than $3.8 billion. Many other Western nations have provided Ukraine with billions of dollars in support.

Shapps said all NATO nations should mirror the U.K.’s commitment to spend 2.5% of GDP on defense by 2030.

“Putin and his autocrat friends have a completely different world outlook to Western democracies,” he said. “It is bad enough their own populations have to suffer stifled rights and freedoms, but it is unthinkable that they could force their vision of world order on us.”

“It’s time for democracies to really wake up to this reality.”

Some information for this story came from Reuters.

  • 16x9 Image

    VOA News

    The Voice of America provides news and information in more than 40 languages to an estimated weekly audience of over 326 million people. Stories with the VOA News byline are the work of multiple VOA journalists and may contain information from wire service reports.