‘End this war of aggression’ in Ukraine, Blinken tells Russia’s Lavrov at G20

© Olivier Douliery, Pool photos via AP

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged his Russian counterpart to end the Ukraine war on the sidelines of G20 talks on Thursday, in their first face-to-face contact since the invasion.

Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke briefly at the meeting of the world’s top diplomats in New Delhi, which failed to reach a joint final declaration after objections from Moscow and Beijing.

“I told the foreign minister what I and so many many others said last week at the United Nations, and what so many G20 foreign ministers said today—end this war of aggression, engage in meaningful diplomacy that can produce a just and lasting peace,” Blinken told reporters.

The last time Blinken and Lavrov were in the same room—at a G20 meeting in Bali last July—the latter stormed out, according to Western officials.

Until Thursday, there had been no high-level in-person contacts between the US and Russian governments since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February 2022, with Washington firmly backing Kyiv and spearheading international efforts to isolate Russia.

Russian diplomatic spokeswoman Maria Zakharova sought to downplay the significance of the encounter, telling state news agency RIA Novosti that Blinken had initiated it and that it had been fleeting.

Lavrov “spoke to him, standing, as part of the second second session of the G20,” she said. “No talks or real meeting took place.”

No joint statement


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