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Russia counts on sanctions help from China; U.S. warns off Beijing

Economy Mar 13, 2022 11:45AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A child holds the national flags of Russia and China prior to a welcoming ceremony for Russian President Vladimir Putin outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, June 25, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

By Mark Trevelyan

LONDON (Reuters) - Russia said on Sunday that it was counting on China to help it withstand the blow to its economy from Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine, but the United States warned Beijing not to provide that lifeline.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said sanctions had deprived Moscow of access to $300 billion of its $640 billion in gold and foreign exchange reserves, and added that there was pressure on Beijing to shut off more.

“We have part of our gold and foreign exchange reserves in the Chinese currency, in yuan. And we see what pressure is being exerted by Western countries on China in order to limit mutual trade with China. Of course, there is pressure to limit access to those reserves," he said.

"But I think that our partnership with China will still allow us to maintain the cooperation that we have achieved, and not only maintain, but also increase it in an environment where Western markets are closing."

Western countries have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia's corporate and financial system since it invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it calls a special military operation.

Siluanov's comments in a TV interview marked the clearest statement yet from Moscow that it will seek help from China to cushion the impact.

But U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington was warning China not to provide it.

"We are communicating directly, privately to Beijing, that there will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions, evasion efforts or support to Russia to backfill them," Sullivan told CNN.

"We will not allow that to go forward and allow there to be a lifeline to Russia from these economic sanctions from any country, anywhere in the world," added Sullivan, who is due to meet China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Rome on Monday.

Russia and China have tightened cooperation in recent times as both have come under strong Western pressure over human rights and a raft of other issues. Beijing has not condemned Russia's attack on Ukraine and does not call it an invasion, but it has urged a negotiated solution.

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping met in Beijing on Feb. 4 and announced a strategic partnership they said was aimed at countering the influence of the United States, describing it as a friendship with no limits.

China is Russia's top export market after the European Union. Russian exports to China were worth $79.3 billion in 2021, with oil and gas accounting for 56% of that, according to China's customs agency.

Russia counts on sanctions help from China; U.S. warns off Beijing
 

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Comments (10)
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Mar 14, 2022 1:34AM ET
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Putin is delivering Russia right into the willing arms of China
Rise Unlimited
Rise Unlimited Mar 13, 2022 4:51PM ET
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U.S - United States of the World with highest immigrant population in the world of over 48.2 million people from around the world. Where you can break bread freely with the millions of Russian/Chinese/Iranian brothers and talk about the bs and what to name those countries in the future.
Jeff Matthews
Jeff Matthews Mar 13, 2022 4:14PM ET
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It's looking like it's only getting worse by relying on sanctions. The Russians are moving in on the capitol. The allies should use air strikes in nearby Russian territory to draw troops out of Ukraine to defend the motherland. Nobody wants to risk nuclear attack, but it's clear NATO could squash Russia like a cockroach if we must. China will want no part of that whatsoever. All it will do is hurl insults. The Russians need to be met with devastating force now. If we don't establish a clear pecking order, there will be endless territory grabs, especially as we continue to reduce foreign imports. They'll need replacement markets to survive.
First Last
First Last Mar 13, 2022 4:14PM ET
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"Nobody wants to risk nuclear attack" --  That may no longer be true.   The MAD doctrine fails if one side, the Russians and their CCP (of the salami slice doctrine) enablers, go mad.
Roman Sheveloff
Roman Sheveloff Mar 13, 2022 4:14PM ET
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Precisely what Russia wants, draw in US military and force the card. Underestimating Putin is precisely what lead to this war. In 3 weeks 180k troops of putins orks made country of 50million completely destabilized. At least 50% are brand new conscripts who do not want to fight especially some have relatives in Ukraine. Don't assume what you see, is what it is.
Jeff Matthews
Jeff Matthews Mar 13, 2022 4:14PM ET
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Don't overestimate Putin because he can beat up on Ukraine. When it comes to NATO vs. Russia, it's 99-1 in NATO's favor. So far, the West is a little weak. Let's see if it does something to decisively turn the tide. Wrecking the Russian economy, by itself, might not be enough. Russia has a history of managing its citizens through bad times.
filipe moreira
filipe moreira Mar 13, 2022 2:59PM ET
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Xi Jiping wants no horn besides his own in Asia... Putin seems very alpha competitive....just saying
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Mar 13, 2022 2:59PM ET
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Putin peacock
Simon Liu
Simon Liu Mar 13, 2022 2:31PM ET
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USA is the only country in the world who wants this war and who is benefitting from this war. Biden is the only person in the world who has the power in hand to reach a fair deal with Putin, but he hasn't even talked to Putin for 1 month. Do you still believe Biden really wants to stop the WAR? Don't forget, USA started to sanction China 5 years ago, and it is still there.
Rise Unlimited
Rise Unlimited Mar 13, 2022 2:31PM ET
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Russia did go into Ukraine and said everyone surrender so you may be right lol but sending 14 billion to another country being invaded uhmmmm I don’t know.
Grab My Grape Sack
Grab My Grape Sack Mar 13, 2022 2:31PM ET
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this is guy here is one of those people who would blame the r_@_p_e_d victims for being r_@_pedable.
ivan rab
ivan rab Mar 13, 2022 1:25PM ET
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Ultimately China will be the winning party. Russia is doomed to become a Chinese province just in order not to be part of the Western world it hates
Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones Mar 13, 2022 1:25PM ET
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The vast majority of Russian people don't hate the West, and we don't hate them. This is nearly all Putin.
Rise Unlimited
Rise Unlimited Mar 13, 2022 1:25PM ET
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Well I mean Russia did kinda solidify Chinas current dominance on certain resources so I would expect a dealwas set way before. They have been building bridges so maybe.
Andy Bolstridge
Andy Bolstridge Mar 13, 2022 1:25PM ET
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Indiana Jones apparently Putin asked fo be part of NATO a decade ago. Its the West that hates Russia - they need a bogeyman to scare the populace and blame all their own ills on.
Mar 13, 2022 12:56PM ET
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Dummies wow this is why we are in this mess with ukraine and russia in the first place. (Washingtom) incompetent leaders weakness and division! Check it
John Berry
John Berry Mar 13, 2022 12:03PM ET
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Come on US if you dont believe China is gonna help Russia just because you tell them not to just tells me you are a lot more gullible then I thought.
First Last
First Last Mar 13, 2022 12:03PM ET
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The US never said it believe China will stop helping Russia just because the US told them to stop.
Expressions Productions
Expressions Productions Mar 13, 2022 11:57AM ET
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Biden and his European cohorts need to realize the power paradigm is changing. You cannot threat and bully others. China will do what’s in her best interest.
First Last
First Last Mar 13, 2022 11:57AM ET
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"You cannot threat and bully others." -- False.  That's pretty much all Russia & China is doing.
Miles Mathewson
Miles Mathewson Mar 13, 2022 9:11AM ET
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Yuan and china becoming the world leaders. West doesn't learn
rmdebla smith
rmdebla smith Mar 13, 2022 9:11AM ET
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The  word is getting out.  Maybe behavior will follow.  https://nonchn.com/how-to-avoid-buying-chinese-counterfeit-goods-on-internet/
 
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