At a security forum in New Delhi on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticised the United States for "hypocrisy" following U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's statement that Russia cannot be allowed to wage war in Ukraine with impunity.
During the G20 foreign ministers meeting in the Indian capital earlier this week, the highest-ranking diplomats from Moscow and Washington met in person for the first time since Russian troops invaded Ukraine a year ago.
Blinken says "cant' allow Russia's war with impunity", Lavrov calls out "double standards"
Blinked, speaking at the Raisina Dialogue strategic affairs forum, said: “If we allow with impunity Russia to do what it’s doing in Ukraine, then that’s a message to would-be aggressors everywhere that they may be able to get away with it too."
Lavrov, speaking at the same forum after Blinken, argued that it was "double standards" to scrutinize Russia's actions in Ukraine while the United States relied on a "threat to its national interest" as a justification for military interventions in several regions, such as the war in Iraq, airstrikes in Libya, and the bombing of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo conflict in 1999.
Questions regarding when Russia will engage in negotiations to conclude the conflict should be directed towards Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, Lavrov said.
“Everybody is asking when Russia is going to negotiate…the West is continuously saying that it is not time to negotiate yet because Ukraine must win in the battlefield before any negotiations,” the Russian diplomat stressed.
What happened at G20 summit?
The United States and its allies called on G20 member countries to maintain pressure on Russia to conclude the conflict, but due to opposition from China and Russia, who view their actions as a "special military operation" aimed at eliminating a perceived threat to their own security, the G20 failed to reach a consensus on a joint statement regarding the war.
The Russian foreign minister also accused the United States of attempting to militarize the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, an informal partnership between the United States, Australia, India, and Japan that focuses on strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific region.
Earlier that day, Blinken met with his Quad counterparts, and they issued a statement condemning the use or threat of nuclear weapons.
Putin had threatened to resume nuclear tests
At the end of last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended a significant nuclear arms control treaty and threatened to resume nuclear tests. During their brief encounter on the sidelines of the G20 meeting, Blinken urged Lavrov to end the war and called on Moscow to reverse its suspension of the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) on nuclear weapons.
The Quad statement also took an implicit jab at China by condemning actions that raise tensions in the South China Sea and the militarization of disputed areas in the region.
China has criticized the Quad as a Cold War construct and a clique targeting other nations.
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