Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov showed there was no love lost after a brief encounter during the G20 meeting in New Delhi, India.

Blinken called out Russia for invading Ukraine and said it was important that the world does not allow Moscow to get away with such an illegal land-grab. He repeated the line from Washington that other countries will undoubtedly follow Russia’s lead and attempt similar acts of aggression.

But Lavrov called out Blinken’s comment and said it was a “double standard” when the U.S. condemned Russia for the invasion after conducting military interventions in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and Kosovo.

“If you think that the United States has the right to declare any country in the world a threat to its national interests, the way it did with Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria—ten thousand kilometers away across the Atlantic Ocean, then you would not be asking any questions,” he said, according to Russia’s TASS. “Whereas Russia had issued warnings for more than 10 years (and not just once on the eve of the attack, as was the case in Iraq and other places): ‘Guys, what you are doing is going to end badly.’ We are not talking about some faraway place, but right on our borders, in territories where Russians have lived for centuries. In a word, if this is not what you call a double standard, then I am not foreign minister.” 

Lavrov was asked the question on Friday at the international political science conference Raisina Dialogue at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi. He told the moderator that the G20 has been having similar conferences dating back to 2014.

“During those years, have you been interested in what’s happening in Iraq or Afghanistan? Did you ask the US and NATO any questions about whether they knew what they were doing?” he asked, according to the news outlet.

He mentioned how the Russian language and culture was banned in the Donbas. 

“Can you imagine, for example, Ireland banning English, Belgium banning French, Switzerland banning German, or Finland abolishing Swedish? Of course not. But no one lifted a finger, when the Russian language was completely abolished in Ukraine,” he said.

Blinken also addressed the forum and 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.”

TRENDPOST: Lavrov told reporters that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should be the person to be asked when the war will end. He 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 on the battlefield before any negotiations.

The G20 was unable to present a joint statement on the Russian invasion of Ukraine due to opposition from China, Reuters reported. Both China and Russia spoke out against the U.S. attempt to militarize the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, which is a partnership between Washington, India, Australia, and Japan.  

We have noted that WWIII has begun and last week just solidified that forecast.

Tense Meeting

Blinken met briefly with Lavrov the day earlier to repeat President Joe Biden’s message from last week that Washington is prepared to continue supporting Ukraine until it emerges victorious—which nobody seems to be able to define.  (See “BIDEN PROMOTES NEVER-ENDING WAR IN UKRAINE. WRONG ABOUT RUSSIA” 28 Feb 2023, “WASHINGTON ANNOUNCES ANOTHER $2 BILLION IN WEAPONS OF DEATH FOR UKRAINE” 28 Feb 2023, and “YELLEN ANNOUNCES $10 BILLION IN NEW ECONOMIC AID FOR UKRAINE, NOBODY BATS AN EYE” 28 Feb 2023.)

A senior State Department official told the BBC that the discussion between the two lasted less than 10 minutes and Blinken said the U.S. will support Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”

Blinken “disabused” Lavrov of any idea that U.S. support for Ukraine is wavering, the official said. The New York Times reported that the meeting was unexpected.

Besides Ukraine, Blinken told Lavrov that Moscow should rejoin the New START treaty and Russia should release Paul Whelan, the American citizen who has been imprisoned in the country.

Russia said Blinken requested the meeting. The State Department did not immediately respond to an email from The Trends Journal seeking confirmation. The Times said Blinken indicated earlier in the day that he did not have plans to meet with Lavrov.

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