BERLIN, March 2 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday urged China not to send weapons to help Russia's war in Ukraine and instead asked Beijing to exert pressure on Moscow to pull back its forces.
In a speech to the German parliament, Scholz said it was disappointing that Beijing had refrained from condemning the Russian invasion, though he welcomed its efforts towards nuclear de-escalation.
"My message to Beijing is clear: use your influence in Moscow to urge the withdrawal of Russian troops," he said. "And don't deliver any weapons to the aggressor Russia."
Scholz's remarks underscored how the international response to the war in Ukraine highlighted global divisions, with China and India refraining from condemning the Russian invasion.
The U.S. is sounding out close allies about the possibility of imposing new sanctions on China if Beijing provides military support to Russia for its war in Ukraine, sources told Reuters this week.
The consultations, which are still at a preliminary stage, are intended to drum up support from a range of countries, especially those in the wealthy Group of 7, to coordinate support for any possible restrictions.
For its part, China has issued a 12-point paper calling for a comprehensive ceasefire that was met with scepticism in the West. While welcoming Beijing's stance on nuclear de-escalation, Scholz said "One can rightly expect China to discuss its ideas with the main stakeholders - with the Ukrainians and with President (Volodymyr) Zelenskiy."