In a significant development, Chinese ambassador to Kyiv, Fan Xiangong on Thursday asserted that his country will “never attack Ukraine” after reports claimed that Russia sought military and economic assistance from Beijing in its invasion against Ukraine.

An NYT report, citing US officials claimed on Sunday that Russia recently reached out to China seeking military assistance and economic aid to help with the invasion and to offset the impact of Western sanctions.

China’s foreign ministry denied the reports and accused the US of “spreading disinformation.” During a meeting with Ukrainian officials Monday, ambassador Fan Xianzhong stated that China wanted to help rebuild Ukraine, and not add to its suffering.

“China will never attack Ukraine, we will help, particularly in the economic direction,” Fan Xianzhong said, according to a statement from the Lviv government.

Xianzhong, however, did not comment on China’s stance on providing military aid. “We are ready to help you develop. In this situation, which you have now, we will act responsibly. We have seen how great the unity of the Ukrainian people is and that means its strength,” he said.

China says it had no knowledge about Putin’s plans

Earlier on Tuesday, Qin Gang, China’s ambassador to the US, tried to clear the record regarding China’s stance on Ukraine, stating it only wanted an end to the bloodshed. Qin again refuted claims that China had prior knowledge about Putin’s invasion and also rubbished reports saying Russia asked China for military and economic aid.

Reports published earlier this month claimed that senior Chinese officials had asked Russia to delay its invasion of Ukraine until after the Winter Olympics.

Qin said: “Assertions that China knew about, acquiesced to, or tacitly supported this war are purely disinformation. All these claims serve only the purpose of shifting blame to and slinging mud at China. Had China known about the imminent crisis, we would have tried our best to prevent it.”

“China’s position is objective and impartial. China will continue to coordinate real efforts to achieve lasting peace. We stand ready to do whatever we can and work with other parties. Our ultimate purpose is the end of war and support regional and global stability,” Qin wrote.

Earlier this month, China sent humanitarian aid including food and daily necessities worth 5 million yuan ($791,000) to war-hit Ukraine.