RAccording to US government circles, Russia is receiving support from China in expanding its defense apparatus. Beijing is the key factor in revitalizing the Russian military, which has otherwise suffered “significant setbacks” since the invasion of Ukraine began, a senior U.S. official told reporters on Friday. “Without the contribution of the People's Republic of China, Russia would have difficulty sustaining its war effort,” he said.

Moscow is currently undertaking “its most ambitious defense expansion since the Soviet era – and doing it faster than we thought possible at the start of the conflict,” the US official said. According to the US, one of the most important measures to support Ukraine is to convince China to stop supporting Russia militarily.

The information available to the US government showed that in the last three months of last year “more than 70 percent of Russian imports of machine tools came from China.” This enabled Moscow to increase its production of ballistic missiles. In addition, in 2023, 90 percent of Russian microelectronics imports, which are used to produce missiles, tanks and aircraft, also came from China.

The US had repeatedly warned China not to support Russia. Now the government of President Joe Biden is hoping that representatives of EU states can convince Beijing to abandon Moscow's support. On Saturday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) sets off on a three-day trip to China, and the meeting of the G7 foreign ministers will also take place in Italy next week.

Zelenskyj complains about a lack of support

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has once again complained about what he sees as the West's lack of military support in his country's defense against Russian invading troops. “Unfortunately, some of the support is slowing down and we need to do everything we can to improve our own capabilities,” he said on Friday at a meeting of local and regional authorities in Chernivtsi, western Ukraine. Nevertheless, everything must be done to ensure that the world's attention remains focused on Ukraine.

The current problem area in Ukraine is the energy sector, which is the target of constant, serious Russian attacks and is already suffering from major power outages. Although the government in Kiev is trying to further expand anti-aircraft defense, the individual communities should keep an eye on the problems. “We have to prepare for the next heating season at all levels – in communities, in the authorities and in our energy companies,” emphasized Zelensky.

At a subsequent meeting with Ukrainian business representatives, Zelensky said that the defense industry remained a top priority. “There is war and we have to be faster than the enemy,” said Zelensky. “But the economy that creates jobs is just as important.” However, the war, or more precisely the constant Russian attacks, led to companies relocating to the regions.

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