Blinken, Lavrov Hold Unscheduled Talks At G20 Meeting In India

Blinken, Lavrov Hold Unscheduled Talks At G20 Meeting In India

March 3, 2023, 7:18 a.m.

The top diplomats from the US and Russia have attended some of the same meetings since the start of the war in Ukraine. However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had never taken the opportunity to speak together. On Thursday, they met in person.

The two were attending a gathering of the Group of 20 nations in New Delhi. Blinken had previously said he had "no plans" to meet Lavrov. However, they ended up talking for about 10 minutes.

Blinken said he told Lavrov the US would support Ukraine for "as long as it takes." He also repeated what many other diplomats have said: "End this war of aggression, engage in meaningful diplomacy that can produce a just and durable peace."

Blinken also urged Russian leaders to revisit their decision to suspend a nuclear arms treaty with the US known as New START.

Lavrov has criticized Western leaders, accusing them of "blackmail and threats." He said his side is open to peace talks, but says no one makes the same demand of the Ukrainians.

Lavrov said, "Probably, there is truth in this, because they are encouraging Ukraine to continue the war."

Russian officials said there were no negotiations on the conditions of the meeting. They added that Lavrov simply accepted Blinken's request to talk.

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