Blinken, Lavrov meet briefly in New Delhi

Both the leaders met on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers meeting.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov briefly during which he is learnt to have “pressurised” the Russian minister on Ukraine, according to reports.

Both the leaders met on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers meeting. This was the first highest level one-on-one contact between the two nations since the Russia-Ukraine war broke out a year ago.

South Africa Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor with Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and United Kingdom Foreign Secretary James Cleverly at the first session of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, in New Delhi on Thursday. Russian Foregn Minister Sergey lavrov can also be seen on the extreme left. (ANI Photo)

Incidentally, the meeting took place a day after Blinken had said that he had no plans to either meet his Chinese or Russian counterparts, reports said.

Reports further said that Blinken is learnt to have put across the message that Russia should engage with Ukraine and adhere to its demands.

The US has expressed optimism that Russia will reverse its decision on Ukraine and engage with it diplomatically, which would lead towards peace.

However, reports quoting sources said that the brief encounter between Blinken and Lavrov may not exactly change the situation in the near future.

Meanwhile, Russian spokesperson Maria Zarkhova, while referring to the meeting between the two leaders, said: “US Secretary of State Antony Blinken asked for ‘contact’ with foreign minister Lavrov, during the second session of G20 meet. They had ‘contact’, there were no talks or a full-fledged meeting.”

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