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BEIJING: Russia’s foreign minister urged the US and NATO to stop supplying Kyiv with arms if they are “really interested in resolving the Ukraine crisis”, Chinese state media reported Saturday.

Months into an invasion that failed in its short-term aim of capturing Kyiv, Moscow is now intensifying operations in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.

But Sergei Lavrov told China’s official Xinhua news agency that the “special military operation... is proceeding strictly according to plan”.

China has avoided condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and defends its firm friendship with Moscow, with state media often echoing the Russian line on the war.

“If the US and NATO are really interested in resolving the Ukraine crisis, then first of all, they should wake up and stop supplying the Kyiv regime with arms and ammunition,” Lavrov said.

The Kremlin had previously called Western arms deliveries to Ukraine a threat to European security.

In his interview with Xinhua published Saturday, Lavrov said that Russia can “retool” its economy to guard against potential “unlawful hostilities”.

He added that the sanctions-hit country will focus on moving away from the US dollar and lean less on imports, while boosting its tech independence, Xinhua reported.

Moscow has pursued a “de-dollarisation” policy for several years, calling on partners such as China and India to conduct payments in other currencies.

Since the invasion, Western nations have imposed sanctions that largely cut Russia’s financial sector off from the global economy.

Ukrainian prosecutors say they have pinpointed more than 8,000 war crimes and are investigating 10 Russian soldiers for suspected atrocities in Bucha, where dozens of bodies in civilian clothes were found following Moscow’s retreat.

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