Ukrainians thwart Russian attempt on Kiev on pontoon bridge, satellite image shows

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Russia has asked China for military assistance in Ukraine, including drones, a senior US official said on Sunday.

CNN contacted the Russian Embassy in the United States for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday that China’s support for Russia was a “concern.”

“We are also closely monitoring the extent to which China actually provides any form of support, material or economic, to Russia. This is one of our concerns. And we have let Beijing know that we will not sit idly by and allow any country to compensate Russia for its losses from economic sanctions,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said the United States had made it clear to Beijing that there would be “absolutely consequences” for “full-scale” efforts to give the Kremlin a way around US sanctions.

“We will not allow this to continue and for there to be a lifeline for Russia from these economic sanctions from any country in the world,” he said.

Sullivan is due to meet his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Rome on Monday.

Chinese Embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu told CNN on Sunday that he had not heard of Russia’s request.

“I have never heard of this. China is deeply concerned and saddened by the situation in Ukraine. We sincerely hope the situation will improve and peace will return soon,” Pengyu said. “The current situation in Ukraine is indeed disconcerting. Everything must be done to support Russia and Ukraine in pursuing negotiations despite the difficult situation to achieve a peaceful outcome. We support and encourage all efforts that are conducive to peaceful resolution of the crisis. The top priority now is to prevent the tense situation from escalating or even spiraling out of control. There is a consensus on this within the international community, including the parties concerned.”

“China calls for maximum restraint and averting a massive humanitarian crisis. China presented an initiative to respond to the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. China has provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine and will continue to do so,” Pengyu said.

The White House said last week that China “is complying with the requirements that have been put in place” regarding the sanctions.

“Our assessment at this time is that (China) meets the requirements that have been put in place, but we will continue to encourage all countries to think seriously about the role they want to play in history as we all watch back,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a news conference Wednesday.

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