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FMs of US, Russia talk briefly at G-20 with relations at a low

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov talked briefly Thursday at a meeting of top diplomats from the Group of 20 nations. They discussed the situation in Ukraine.

The short meeting happened as relations between Washington and Moscow have been deteriorating since Russia’s war with Ukraine and tensions have been increasing because of a number of disagreements, complaints, and recriminations on other matters.

U.S. officials say that they had a brief conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the G-20 conference in New Delhi. However, it was unclear if there had been any progress made and the conference itself ended with the group of countries unable to reach a consensus on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The senior U.S. official said that Blinken used the discussion to tell Lavrov three things: that the United States will support Ukraine in the conflict as long as it takes to bring the war to an end, that Russia should reverse its decision to suspend its participation in the New START nuclear treaty, and that Russia should release detained American Paul Whelan.

The official said that Blinken had explained to Lavrov that the United States remains committed to supporting Ukraine and is not wavering in its support.

The diplomat said that he didn’t think there would be any change in Russia’s behavior in the near future on any of the three issues.

Blinken told the G-20 meeting earlier that Russia’s war with Ukraine cannot be ignored, according to remarks released by the State Department.

The U.N. is unhappy about the way Russia is treating Ukraine. Russia has been attacking civilian targets, and is not following the principles of the U.N. Charter.

We are calling on Russia to stop its war in Ukraine and to leave the country. Over 140 countries have spoken out against Russia at the UN, and we believe that this is the best way to ensure international peace and stability.

Many of the G-20 countries, including host India, China, and South Africa, voted against the resolution in the UN Security Council about Ukraine. Despite appeals from top Indian officials, the foreign ministers were unable to come to a consensus on what to put in the final communique.

The Indian Foreign Minister said that there were some disagreements about the war in Ukraine and that we were not able to come to a consensus on all of the issues.

Prime Minister Modi wants all of the G-20 countries to be able to come to a consensus on important issues that concern poorer countries even if the East-West conflict over Ukraine makes it difficult.

We all have different ideas about how to resolve the tensions between India and Pakistan. We should not let disagreements keep us from working together.

China and Russia objected to two paragraphs from the previous G-20 declaration in Bali last year. The two paragraphs pertained to global financial regulation and the fight against tax evasion.

The paragraphs say that the war in Ukraine is causing a lot of human suffering, and that it’s making the world more fragile and risky. It’s not right to start a war with another country, and nuclear weapons are never acceptable.

Lavrov, who did not mention speaking with Blinken when he held a news conference after the G-20 session, told reporters that Moscow would continue to press its move in Ukraine. He dismissed Western claims about Russia’s isolation, saying, “We do not feel isolated. It is the West that has isolated itself, and it will realize that in the end.”

He said that Russia is still open to talks to end the conflict in Ukraine, but he said that the West is not allowing these talks to happen.

The people in the West are urging Ukraine to start talks, but I don’t remember any Western colleagues urging Ukraine to keep fighting. They are encouraging Ukraine to continue the current war.

Lavrov joked about the United States’ threats against China, which has presented a peace plan for Ukraine that has been applauded by Moscow but dismissed by Washington and its Western allies.

Our Western colleagues have lost their temper and forgotten their manners, resorting to blackmail and threats instead.

Mr. Blinken asked to speak to Mr. Lavrov, and the foreign ministry spokesperson said he was welcome to do so.

Last summer, Blinken talked to Lavrov by phone about a U.S. proposal for Russia to release Whelan and formerly detained WNBA star Brittney Griner. Griner was later released in a swap for imprisoned Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, but Whelan remains detained in Russia.

Whelan has been held in prison for four years on charges that his family and the United States government say are not justified.

Back in January 2022, representatives from the U.S. and Russia met in Geneva to discuss concerns that Russia might be planning to invade another country. At the meeting, Secretary of State Mike Blinken warned Russia about the consequences it would face if it went through with its plans, but he also tried to address some of President Vladimir Putin’s complaints about the U.S. and NATO.

The talks didn’t produce any results, and Russia continued with its plans to invade in February of 2022. Then, Secretary of State Mike Blinken canceled a meeting he had scheduled with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov just two days before the invasion happened.

The two men have been working together to improve relations between countries since the beginning of the war, and they finally met face-to-face on Thursday.

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