‘End this war’ U.S. tells Russia as top officials discuss Ukraine at G20 – National

US Secretary of State Antony Brinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had brief talks on Thursday at the highest level of direct talks between the two countries since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, there were no moves to ease the intense tensions between the two countries.

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As relations between Washington and Moscow plummet over the Russian-Ukrainian war and tensions rise amid a myriad of disagreements, complaints and accusations on other issues, from arms control to embassy officials and prisoners. This short talk took place.

Brinken and Lavrov chatted for about 10 minutes on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in New Delhi, a US official said. However, there were no signs of progress, and the meeting itself ended with the group unable to reach consensus on the war in Ukraine.

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Still, relations between the two countries are at their lowest point, perhaps since the Cuban missile crisis during the Cold War, and the mere fact that the two met has opened a line of high-level communication between Washington and Moscow, at least for the time being. It showed that it would stay.

At a press conference, Brinken told Lavrov that the United States would continue to support Ukraine as long as necessary and push the war to an end through diplomatic terms agreed to by Kiev.

“We will engage in meaningful diplomacy that can end this war of aggression and create a just and lasting peace,” Blinken said, telling Lavrov. But he said, “President Putin showed no interest in getting involved and said there was nothing even to talk about unless Ukraine accepted and I quoted the ‘new territorial reality’. .”

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Blinken also said he urged Russia to “withdraw its irresponsible decisions and return to joining the New START nuclear treaty”.

“Mutual compliance is to the benefit of both countries,” Blinken told Lavrov. Engaged and ready to act…war.”

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Blinken also called on Moscow to release detained American Paul Whelan, saying, “The United States has made a serious offer. Russia should take it.”

Earlier, Brinken told the G20 meeting that the war between Russia and Ukraine could not be made invincible.

“We must continue to call on Russia to end its war of aggression and withdraw from Ukraine in the interest of international peace and economic stability,” Blinken said. He said 141 countries voted to condemn Russia at the United Nations on the first anniversary of the aggression.

However, some members of the G-20, including hosts India, China and South Africa, chose to abstain from that vote, prompting senior Indian officials to reach consensus on other issues beyond their differences on Ukraine. Despite appealing to build it, the foreign minister objected. Unable to do so or agree on final communiqué.

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India’s Foreign Minister Subramanyam Jaishankar said there were “differences” on the issue of the war in Ukraine and that “various political parties had different views and could not be reconciled.” “If there was complete agreement on all issues, it would have been a collective statement,” Jaishankar said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called on all members of the divided G20 to come to an agreement on issues of particular concern to poor countries, even if the East-West divide over Ukraine cannot be overcome.

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“We all have our own positions and views on how these tensions should be resolved,” Modi said. “Don’t let problems you can’t solve together stand in the way of problems you can solve.”

China and Russia objected to the removal of two paragraphs from the last G20 declaration held in Bali last year, according to a summary of Thursday’s meeting released by India. And Brinken lamented, “Russia and China are the only two countries that have made it clear that they will not sign the document.”

The paragraph notes that the war in Ukraine exacerbates the fragility of the world economy, the need to uphold international law, while causing immeasurable human suffering, and that “the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is unacceptable. I can’t,’ he said.

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Despite failing to reach full consensus, Brinken said that 18 of the 20 countries are committed to taking immediate steps to end the war and improve energy and food security, which are severely affected by the conflict. He said it was affirmative that he had agreed to the statement seeking

Lavrov did not mention the meeting with Blinken when he gave a press conference after the G20 meeting, but told reporters that Moscow would continue to pressure him to act in Ukraine. He dismissed Western claims that Russia was isolated, saying, “We don’t feel isolated. It was the West that isolated itself, and we will come to realize that.” Let’s go.”

He said Russia remained open to negotiations to end the conflict in Ukraine, but accused Western countries of effectively obstructing such negotiations.

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“They want us to meet, but I don’t remember any of our Western colleagues asking Ukraine for a meeting,” he said. “They are encouraging Ukraine to continue the war.”

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Lavrov also ridiculed the US threat to China. China presented a peace plan for Ukraine that Russia applauded but was overruled by Washington and its Western allies.

“Our Western colleagues have lost control, forgotten their manners, set aside diplomacy and switched exclusively to blackmail and intimidation,” he said.

Russia did not immediately comment on the content of the conversation, but Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Blinken had asked to speak to Lavrov.

It was their first contact since Brinken spoke to Lavrov on the phone last summer. Russia spoke of the US proposal to release Whelan and previously detained WNBA star Britney Griner. He was later released in exchange for imprisoned Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, but Whelan remains in custody in Russia.

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Whelan, a corporate security officer in Michigan, has been in custody for four years on espionage charges that his family and the U.S. government said were unfounded.

Blinken and Lavrov last met in person in January 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland, on the eve of the Russian invasion. At that meeting, Blinken warned Lavrov of the consequences if Russia went ahead with the planned military operation, but also sought to address some of the grievances Russian President Vladimir Putin had made about the United States and NATO.

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These talks proved inconclusive, Russia moved ahead with its invasion plans, and Blinken subsequently met with Lavrov on February 24, 2022, just two days before Moscow’s final invasion. has canceled its follow-up meeting.

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