The United States today denounced China’s call for a ceasefire in Ukraine, saying it amounted to a validation of Russian conquests in Ukraine so far and gives the Kremlin an opportunity to prepare a new offensive, a White House spokesman said.

“We do not support calls for a ceasefire at this time,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Moscow next week.

“We certainly do not support calls for a truce that China could make at a meeting in Moscow, which would simply benefit Russia,” he added.

For the United States, which leads the Western coalition in delivering arms to Ukraine in support of its fight against Russian aggression, a truce would allow pressure on Russian forces to ease and give the Kremlin a chance to consolidate its dominance over large swaths of territory. of the country.

“A cease-fire now is essentially the approval of Russian conquests,” Kirby said.

“Russia would then be free to use a ceasefire to further consolidate its positions in Ukraine, rebuild, restore and renew its forces to resume attacks in Ukraine at the appropriate time.”

“We don’t think that would be progress toward a just and sustainable peace,” Kirby emphasized.

The US government has invited Xi Jinping to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as part of his visit to Moscow. “We hope that President Xi will communicate directly with President Zelensky as we continue to believe that it is very important that he listens to the Ukrainian side as well, not just Mr. Putin,” Kirby said.

The spokesman reiterated that President Joe Biden plans to speak with Xi by phone, but the details of that conversation have yet to be determined. “As far as I know, there was no contact with the Chinese” to make such a phone call, he clarified.

US officials are closely watching whether China will extend its diplomatic support to Russia in the conflict with military support in the form of ammunition or equipment.

According to Kirby, Beijing has not “ruled out the idea”. “But we have seen no signs or confirmation that they have made a decision in that direction or that they have actually supplied weapons,” he added.