Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of Defence Ministry Board in Moscow. Photo by: Reuters/SPUTNIK

Military analysts said that amid the Russia-Ukraine war, warnings from the West about the possibility of China sending lethal military support to Russia are well placed.

According to U.S. officials, China is considering sending Russia ammunition and artillery. It could be particularly crucial as the Russia-Ukraine war grinds into a second year, reported NBC News.

Accusing the US of "disinformation" over the claims, China said that Washington should stay out of its relationship with Russia. But experts said that it may be well equipped to support Russia's military should it decide to do so.

Russia is engaged in a new offensive in the eastern Donbas region, and China's stockpile of old artillery and ammunition might help Russia's army to keep fighting a war. It has already lasted much longer than Russian President Vladimir Putin had planned.

Lukas Fiala, the project coordinator of China Foresight, which is a research program at the London School of Economics, said that from the end of the Cold War until about the mid-to-late-2000s, "China was the most significant foreign customer of Russia's defense industry."

He said that despite a turn toward weapons systems that are home-grown, China still has a "sizable contingent of Russian equipment."

Weapons like HIMARS artillery supplied by the US have turned out to be effective in war zones. They have allowed Ukraine to retake large areas of territory that Russia had annexed. Russian troops have also been heavily reliant on artillery.

Phillips O'Brien, professor of strategic studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, said that the Russian troops have shown "one of the few things it can do is saturate areas with artillery."

New supplies have allowed their forces to continue scorching Ukrainian lines, but that success has come at a heavy cost and may have drained their supplies.

Fiala said that Russia's victory in the war and stability was ultimately in Chinese interests. But Western sanctions that could be imposed on China if it did step up its support might make the government think twice, reported Yahoo!

Experts said that Ukraine will be watching closely, and could renew its bid for increased support from its allies.

O'Brien said that Ukraine will probably use it as an argument for their NATO backers to say that they have got to get them more (weapons) before China starts "giving the Russians real support."

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