Blinken, Lavrov Meet Briefly As U.S.-Russia Tensions Soar

NEW DELHI (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov talked briefly Thursday at a gathering of high diplomats from the Group of 20 nations within the first high-level assembly in months between the 2 international locations.

U.S. officers stated Blinken and Lavrov chatted for roughly 10 minutes on the sidelines of the G-20 convention in New Delhi. The brief encounter got here as relations between Washington and Moscow have plummeted whereas tensions over Russia’s warfare with Ukraine have soared.

A senior U.S. official stated Blinken used the dialogue to make three factors to Lavrov: that the U.S. would assist Ukraine within the battle for so long as it takes to convey the warfare to an finish, that Russia ought to reverse its resolution to droop participation within the New START nuclear treaty and that Moscow ought to launch detained American Paul Whelan.

The official, who spoke to reporters on situation of anonymity to debate the personal dialog, stated Blinken had “disabused” Lavrov of any concept they could have that U.S. assist for Ukraine is wavering.

The official declined to characterize Lavrov’s response however stated Blinken didn’t get the impression that there could be any change in Russia’s conduct within the close to time period.

Russia had no rapid touch upon the substance of the dialog, however Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated Blinken had requested to talk to Lavrov.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, high heart, walks previous Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov throughout the G20 international ministers’ assembly in New Delhi on March 2, 2023.

Olivier Douliery/Pool Photo through AP

The final time Blinken and Lavrov met in individual was in Geneva, Switzerland, in January 2022 on the eve of Russia’s invasion. At that assembly, Blinken warned Lavrov about penalties Russia would face if it went forward with its deliberate navy operation but additionally sought to handle some complaints that Russian President Vladimir Putin had made in regards to the U.S. and NATO.

Those talks proved to be inconclusive as Russia moved forward with its plans to invade and Blinken then canceled a scheduled followup assembly with Lavrov that was set for simply two days earlier than Moscow finally invaded on Feb. 24, 2022.

The two males have attended a number of worldwide conferences collectively for the reason that warfare started, notably the final G-20 international ministers’ assembly in Bali, Indonesia, final yr, however had not come face-to-face till Thursday.