Blinken pressured Russian foreign minister in first meeting after war: US – world Pipa News

Blinken pressured Russian foreign minister in first meeting after war: US – world

NEW DELHI: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in New Delhi on Thursday to press Ukraine in the two countries’ highest level of face-to-face contact since the war.

A senior US official said Blinken met with Lavrov for less than 10 minutes during the Group of 20 talks, a day after saying he had no plans to meet his Russian or Chinese counterparts.

Following growing support from European allies for the peace initiative, Blinken “wanted to tell the Russians about any notion that our support might waver” on Ukraine, the official said.

Blinken at G20 asks Russia to expand Ukraine grain deal

Blinken “wanted to send the message straight” as well as urged Russia to engage with Ukraine based on demands put forth by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“We remain hopeful that the Russians will reverse their decision and are prepared to engage in a diplomatic process that can lead to a just and durable peace,” the official said.

“But I wouldn’t say that coming out of this encounter there was any expectation that things would change in the near term.”

Blinken noted President Vladimir Putin’s recent decision to free Paul Whelan, a former US Marine detained by Russia since late 2018, and to suspend the New START nuclear treaty, the last arms control agreement between the Cold War-era foes. Also requested to reverse.

Blinken told Lavrov that “the treaty is in the interest of both our countries as well as international security, because the world expects us to behave responsibly when it comes to nuclear security.”


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