China said Saturday it was not doing anything “to circumvent” sanctions imposed on Russia, following warnings from EU officials that any attempt to aid Moscow’s war in Ukraine could damage economic ties. In the clearest indication yet of Beijing’s position on the matter, a foreign ministry official told reporters: “We are not doing anything deliberately to circumvent sanctions imposed on Russia by Americans and Europeans.” But the statement, delivered after virtual talks between top EU and Chinese leaders on Friday, comes as Beijing holds to its stance of refusing to condemn the invasion by its ally Russia. Washington has raised fears that China could potentially send military and economic aid to Russia or help it get through the tough Western sanctions which are battering the country’s economy. “We oppose sanctions and the effects of these sanctions also risk spilling to the rest of the world,” said Wang Lutong, director-general of the Chinese foreign ministry’s department of European affairs, at a press briefing. Top EU officials warned China’s leader Xi Jinping at a virtual summit a day earlier that any attempt to aid Russia’s war could hurt ties between the two economic superpowers, adding that the business sector is closely watching events. The talks with President Xi — initially intended to focus on issues such as trade and climate change — were overshadowed by Western fears of Chinese support for Moscow in its attack on Ukraine.