Blinken has uncommon encounter with Russia’s Lavrov at G-20 assembly in India


NEW DELHI — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a quick encounter Thursday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the Group of 20 largest industrialized nations assembly within the first face-to-face dialog between the 2 diplomats since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

During the less-than-10-minute alternate, Blinken careworn Washington’s assist for a peaceable decision to the struggle in Ukraine that maintains the nation’s territorial integrity, mentioned a senior State Department official, who spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate delicate conversations.

“He stressed that Ukraine and the United States want this war to end on that basis … but what has been missing is a similar determination from Moscow,” mentioned the official.

India needed to keep away from a Ukraine struggle at G-20. World powers had different plans.

The ongoing battle and efforts to resolve it has sharply divided this week’s gathering of the G-20 in New Delhi. The group failed to succeed in a consensus on a communique over variations relating to the struggle, India’s prime diplomat, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar mentioned Thursday.

The United States, Russia and China have all sought to make use of the gathering as a approach to bolster their methods for ending the battle. The West has careworn the significance of serving to Ukraine win again territory seized by Russia, whereas Moscow and Beijing have referred to as on exterior nations to cease what they view as an escalation of the battle.

Blinken additionally urged Russia to reverse its choice to droop cooperation within the New START nuclear arms treaty and settle for a U.S. proposal for the discharge of U.S. citizen Paul Whelan, mentioned the official.

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The official declined to debate Lavrov’s response however mentioned Washington didn’t suspect that Russia has modified its place in regards to the struggle in Ukraine.

“We always remain hopeful that the Russians will reverse their decision and be prepared to engage in a diplomatic process,” mentioned the official. “I wouldn’t say that coming out of this encounter there was any expectation that things will change in the near term.”

Blinken’s contacts with any Russian officers have been extraordinarily uncommon because the begin of the struggle. Last yr, he spoke to Lavrov on the cellphone in a dialogue primarily in regards to the launch of WNBA star Brittney Griner. He has been in the identical room as Lavrov in worldwide gatherings, equivalent to a G-20 assembly final yr in Indonesia, however the two didn’t interact in a one-on-one dialog.

Blinken needed to disabuse Moscow of the concept U.S. assist for Ukraine is perhaps waning and reiterated that the United States would supply navy and financial help for “as long as it takes,” mentioned the official.

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