Joe Biden has urged China’s Xi Jinping to pile pressure on Russia to end the war in Ukraine, warning him that Beijing will face “costs” if it rescues Russia from intense western sanctions.

During a two-hour phone call, Biden also sought guarantees that China will not provide Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine.

It’s the first time the two leaders have spoken since a video summit in November. The call comes just a day after Biden described Vladimir Putin as “a pure thug” and “murderous dictator”.