FILE PHOTO: In this photo taken from video provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Jan 28, 2022, Russian troops fire howitzers during drills in the Rostov region during a military exercising at a training ground in Rostov region, Russia. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File)

LONDON - Reuters
China denies US claim that Russia asked for help in Ukraine

China denied on Tuesday (Mar 15) claims by US officials that Russia had sought military assistance in Ukraine and accused Washington of spreading "malicious disinformation" that risked escalating the conflict.

"The US has repeatedly spread malicious disinformation against China on the Ukraine issue," the Chinese embassy in London told Reuters in a statement.

"China has been playing a constructive role in promoting peace talks," it added.

"The top priority now is to ease the situation, instead of adding fuel to the fire, and work for diplomatic settlement rather than further escalate the situation."

Several US officials said Russia had asked China for military equipment after its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, sparking concern in the White House that Beijing might undermine Western efforts to help Ukrainian forces defend their country.

The Kremlin denied any such request had been made.

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