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Russia denies asking China for military aid

Beijing has denied the operation and stressed its "impartial and independent" stance on Russia's invasion of Ukraine
Dimitri Peskov

PHOTO/ARCHIVO  -   Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Moscow has not asked Beijing for help in carrying out the military operation in Ukraine, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, Russian agencies report. 

At a press conference in Moscow, Peskov was asked to comment on reports in the US media that Russia had asked China for military assistance, to which the spokesman replied with a resounding "no", according to sources. 

US media today claimed that Russia has asked China for military support and economic assistance, including drones, for the invasion of Ukraine that began on 24 February, citing US officials as sources. 

China also denied these reports today. "It is completely false, it is pure disinformation. China has stated its position on the crisis in Ukraine clearly and consistently. We play a constructive role and assess the situation impartially and independently. Denigrating China's position is not acceptable," Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a press conference today. 

Zhao Lijan
PHOTO/REUTERS/CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS  -   El portavoz del Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores chino, Zhao Lijian

Peskov was also asked about the possible duration of the Russian military operation in Ukraine and said the "Klemlin had nothing to say about it". "Nothing can be said for now," he replied when asked if the Kremlin could reveal when the special operation would be completed. And he also remained silent when asked whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was satisfied with the progress of the special operation in Ukraine, the Tass news agency describes. 

He had previously indicated that Moscow's plans for this operation are proceeding according to the original plan and will be completed on time and in full, although he did not offer further details. 

At the start of the operation, Putin ordered the Defence Ministry to refrain from immediate assaults on major Ukrainian cities, including Kiev, Peskov said. 

According to the Klemlin spokesman, Ukrainian units had organised firing positions and deployed heavy weapons in homes and densely populated areas which, when attacked, "would have entailed heavy losses among civilians", he said. "The operation was originally planned with (these circumstances) in mind," he told journalists.