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EU pressures China to act on firms assisting Russia in evading sanctions

EU pressures China to act on firms assisting Russia in evading sanctions President of the European Council Charles Michel (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

Head of the European Council Charles Michel called on Chinese leader Xi Jinping to immediately address companies involved in supplying dual-use goods to Russia and aiding in bypassing international sanctions, according to Politico.

Brussels has transmitted a list of about 13 Chinese companies to Beijing, suspected of being involved in circumventing the sanctions.

"We have identified a list of companies which are suspected to play a role in circumventing our sanctions, and with the occasion ... during the summit, we agree that it's important to go more into the details," said Michel to journalists after talks with Xi Jinping in the Chinese capital.

Additionally, the head of the European Council expressed hope that "today we are heard, and then the appropriate action will be undertaken by China."

In turn, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stated that she approached Xi Jinping requesting to "prevent any attempts by Russia to undermine the impact of the sanctions."

Reaction of the Chinese leader

According to a statement from China's state media Xinhua, there is no mention of Xi Jinping's response to Brussels' concerns about companies aiding Moscow in circumventing EU sanctions.

However, the Chinese President stated that both sides should "increase understanding and properly handle differences through constructive dialogue."

Xi, at the first EU-China summit in four years, also referred to Beijing as a partner in Europe's trade and technology sectors.

China-Russia ties

It is noteworthy that China has become more closely aligned with Russia following the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Specifically, Beijing declined to join the sanctions imposed by the US against the Kremlin.

Beijing and Moscow share a mutual interest in challenging US dominance in the global order, as their relations with democratic countries become increasingly strained.

The United States has repeatedly warned China against aiding Russia in its war against Ukraine or facilitating the circumvention of sanctions. Earlier, in November, the European Parliament called for increased control and more effective measures to restrict Russia's ability to bypass the restrictive measures imposed by EU countries.