By Andrea Shalal and Eric Beech
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will focus their discussions on Friday primarily on the battle in Ukraine, however might additionally touch on concerns that China might present deadly assist to Russia, a senior administration official stated.
The 2 leaders are slated to meet for an hour, together with a big one-on-one element, the official stated on Thursday.
“The overarching objective of this meeting was an opportunity for the 2 leaders to have the option to coordinate particularly on Ukraine,” the official stated. “However I believe it definitely is feasible throughout the context of a dialog on Ukraine that the China side would come up.”
The U.S. had not seen proof that China had offered deadly assist to Russia up to now, however was monitoring the scenario carefully, the official stated.
Friday’s working-level meeting would give Biden and Scholz an opportunity to “alternate notes” on their respective, latest conferences with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and their evaluation of the battle, now in its second 12 months, the official stated.
Scholz, who final visited the White Home simply earlier than Russia invade Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, on Thursday urged China not to ship weapons to assist Russia’s battle in Ukraine and appealed to Beijing to exert stress on Moscow to pull again its forces.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week stated if China offers deadly assist to Moscow for the battle it is going to be a major problem Beijing in its relationship with international locations world wide.
China has denied any intention to arm Russia whereas warning Western nations which have supplying weapons to Ukraine that such assist wouldn’t deliver peace, however would add “gasoline to the hearth”.
Washington has been sounding out shut allies about the potential for imposing new sanctions on China if Beijing offers navy assist to Russia for its battle in Ukraine, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing 4 U.S. officers.
The U.S. officers stated Washington had already taken motion in opposition to third-party actors who had been supporting Russia’s battle in opposition to Ukraine and would proceed to accomplish that, measures that had been expressly endorsed in a latest Group of Seven assertion.
“So, very a lot one thing that we’re participating on diplomatically with our companions and one thing that we’re already actively taking motion on and persevering with to talk about,” the official stated, declining to title any particular international locations.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Eric Beech; Modifying by Lincoln Feast.; Modifying by Chris Reese)