China, which Russia has sought as an ally since being cold-shouldered by the West over its invasion of Ukraine, has called the United States the “main instigator” of the crisis.
In an interview with the Russian state news agency TASS published on Wednesday, China’s ambassador to Moscow, Zhang Hanhui, accused Washington of backing Russia into a corner with repeated expansions of the NATO defence alliance and support for forces seeking to align Ukraine with the European Union rather than Moscow.
“As the initiator and main instigator of the Ukrainian crisis, Washington, while imposing unprecedented comprehensive sanctions on Russia, continues to supply arms and military equipment to Ukraine,” Zhang was quoted as saying.
“Their ultimate goal is to exhaust and crush Russia with a protracted war and the cudgel of sanctions.”
The ambassador’s reasoning closely followed one of Russia’s own justifications of its invasion of Ukraine, which has resulted in thousands of deaths and the devastation of entire cities, as well as driving more than a quarter of the population to flee their homes.