IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

China would 'end up owning some of the costs' if Russia invades Ukraine, national security adviser warns

In a joint statement with Russia last week, China said it opposed NATO expansion and blamed the U.S. for rising tensions.

WASHINGTON — White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned Sunday that China would "end up owning some of the costs" of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has already assembled 70 percent of the forces it would need to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the latest government assessment said late Friday as tensions rise in the region. In a joint statement with Russia last week, China said it opposed NATO expansion, blamed the U.S. for rising tensions and voiced support for the Kremlin's demand for guarantees.

"We believe that Beijing will end up owning some of the costs of a Russian invasion of Ukraine and that they should calculate that as they consider their engagements with the Russian government over the next couple of weeks," Sullivan said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The U.S. has warned President Vladimir Putin that Russia faces "the mother of all sanctions" in the standoff over Ukraine. The Biden administration has said for weeks that a Russian invasion could be imminent. Russia denies planning any attack; it has, however, issued bold security demands to the U.S. and NATO.

Sanctions aimed at Russia could have a direct impact on China, Sullivan said, "because they will go at the financial system of Russia, which of course engages the Chinese economy, as well."

He said on ABC's "This Week" that he believes China understands that it is not positioned to "compensate Russia for the economic losses that would come from our sanctions."

"If Russia does choose to move forward, not only will it come at a strategic cost to Russia, but if China is seen as having supported it, it will come at some costs to China, as well, in the eyes of the world, in the eyes of Europe and in the eyes of other countries who are looking on now and sending a clear message that they would prefer to see diplomacy over war," Sullivan said.

President Joe Biden, asked whether Putin is looking for anything to de-escalate the situation, told reporters Sunday, "I think things he cannot get."

As fears of a full-scale invasion mounted, Sullivan appeared on three Sunday programs and reiterated that Russia could move on Ukraine at any time.

"We are in the window," Sullivan said on "Fox News Sunday." "Any day now, Russia could take military action against Ukraine, or it could be a couple of weeks from now, or Russia could choose to take the diplomatic path, instead."

Last week, the Biden administration announced it was deploying about 3,000 troops to help defend European allies in the standoff. About 1,000 U.S. soldiers in Germany will be repositioned to Romania "in the coming days" to support a similar number of U.S. forces currently in the country, Defense Department press secretary John Kirby said.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said Sunday that the U.S. is "still working to discourage the Russians from making the wrong choice and choosing confrontation."

"We will continue to work on a diplomatic solution, but at the same time, we know that the Russians continue to prepare, and we will be working to address the security issues," Thomas-Greenfield said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Putin must pay a "high price" if he invades Ukraine.

"Not just for him to pay the price, but for other countries to see the high price of doing that kind of thing and other leaders," Rubio, a member of the Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, said on CBS's "Face the Nation," adding thatRussia's economy should be crippled if it decides to move on Ukraine.