Sullivan: China will “end up owning some of the costs” if Russia invades Ukraine

Two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi made a show of reinforcing their unity against Western “interference,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the two would also be tied together in some manner if the Kremlin decides to invade Ukraine.

Driving the news: “We believe that Beijing will end up owning some of the costs of a Russian invasion of Ukraine and that they should calculate that as they consider their engagements with the Russian government,” Sullivan told host Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

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State of play: “The two authoritarian powers have fostered deeper ties, including in military cooperation, as tensions with the U.S. have soared over the past several years,” Axios’ Zachary Basu writes.

  • When asked on Sunday whether China would “be in line for any punishment if they help Russia get around sanctions?” Sullivan said sanctions would impact Beijing “because they will go at the financial system of Russia which, of course, engages the Chinese economy as well.”

  • “China will have a choice whether or not it complies with the sanctions or if it chooses not to comply then of course there are penalties that accrue to that,” he added.

Go deeper: Xi backs Putin on NATO demands as leaders meet in Beijing

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