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NATO pushing Russia-Ukraine tension to ‘breaking point,’ China warns

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian

China says NATO’s conduct has pushed the current tension between Russia and Ukraine to a “breaking point.”

During a daily news briefing in Beijing on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called on the United States to take China’s concerns seriously and avoid undermining its interests in handling the Ukraine issue and ties with Russia.

At a virtual meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping opposed economic sanctions against Russia, saying they would affect the stability of global finance, energy supplies, transportation, and supply chains and “dampen the global economy,” which has already been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

Xi said the three countries should jointly support peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, as he urged Moscow and Kiev to “keep the momentum of negotiations” and “bring about peaceful outcomes.”

On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden imposed an immediate ban on Russian oil and other energy imports in reaction to the Russian military operation in Ukraine. Other Western countries have also targeted Russia’s financial and corporate system with crippling measures.

The situation has pushed Russia’s economy towards the gravest crisis since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

The Kremlin on Wednesday accused the US of declaring an economic war on Russia. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the West’s sanctions were “hostile bacchanalia” that had roiled global markets.

“You see the bacchanalia, the hostile bacchanalia, which the West has sown - and that of course makes the situation very difficult and forces us to think seriously,” Peskov said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry says it is working on a broad response to the sanctions. Moscow says the measures will be swift and thoughtful, and that the pain will be felt in the West’s most sensitive areas.

Meanwhile, Russia says it has documents proving that the US has been developing bio-weapons in the Ukrainian territory. Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has urged the US to explain to the world why it supported a military biological program in Ukraine.

Earlier on Tuesday, US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland admitted that Ukraine has biological research facilities.

Media reports say the laboratories store large quantities of dangerous viruses, and that Russia has found that Washington is using them for military programs.

China has also warned the US against trying to build a Pacific version of NATO, urging Washington to stop interfering in the Chinese Taipei (Taiwan). Foreign Minister Wang Yi revealed on Monday that the “real goal” of the United States in the Indo-Pacific was to establish a quasi-NATO military alliance there, Bloomberg reported.

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