Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is visiting China on Tuesday for talks with President Xi Jinping. The meeting comes amid pressure by the United States on China to avoid providing military aid to Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.
Lukashenko's visit to China is his first since the invasion began one year ago. He was reportedly invited by Xi.
The leaders are expected to discuss how to strengthen bilateral economic ties. But attention is focused on what they may say about possible support for Russia.
US officials believe that China is considering sending drones and ammunition to Russia.
The US-based Institute for the Study of War suggested on Saturday that Beijing could deliver the shipments via Belarus. It said, "China may seek to use agreements with Belarus to obfuscate violations of sanctions."
Ukrainian general staff said Russia is continuing to focus its offensive on Bakhmut and other parts of Donetsk in the east.
Russia's defense ministry said on Monday that its forces had destroyed a Ukrainian ammunition depot near Bakhmut. It said attacks were also launched against Ukrainian troops and tanks in Donetsk.