Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke “on the go” with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the G20 ministerial meeting Thursday.
“Blinken asked for contact with Lavrov. On the go, during the second session of the (G20), Sergey Viktorovich (Lavrov) spoke (with him). There were no negotiations, meetings and so on,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in New Delhi.
Speaking at a news conference in India’s capital following the G20 meeting, Lavrov praised India’s chairmanship of the group, saying New Delhi focused on seeking solutions to economic problems.
He said the agenda considered at the meeting met the expectations of countries looking to overcome the current crises, remove barriers and ensure fair competition.
Lavrov informed about his meetings with the Brazilian, Chinese and Turkish foreign ministers held on the sidelines of the main event.
“The transfer to new logistics chains that will be protected from the West’s lawlessness, sanctions and other illegal activities and the transfer to payments in national currencies due to the grossest abuses of dollar printers — Americans — and the euro printer the EU. The Japanese, by the way, also abuse their yen actively — All this was discussed in my contacts with my Chinese colleague, with the ministers of Brazil and Türkiye,” he said.
Situation around Ukraine
Asked about the possibility of peace talks with Ukraine, the diplomat said Moscow has not received any “serious” proposals on the matter since March 2022.
He pointed out that Russia has never refused peace talks and therefore, calls for starting them should be addressed to Ukraine.
“We have been warning for many years: Stop creating a threat to the Russian Federation from Ukraine. It is not somewhere across the ocean but right on our borders.
“We will continue to seek justice for the Ukrainian people. We will continue to defend the interests of Russians who live in Ukraine,” he stressed.
Lavrov said the West continues seeking the global condemnation of Russia, in return promising “not to punish” those who will do it.
He also said a common declaration was not adopted at the G20 because the Western representatives tried to make Ukraine the central issue, accusing Russia of violating the Minsk Agreements and ignoring the “confessions” of former German, French and Ukrainian leaders who said they never planned to implement them and signed the treaty to buy some time for Kyiv to strengthen its military capabilities.
Also, the Russian delegation wanted to include a call on investigating the explosions of the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, but it was “categorically rejected” by the Westerners, Lavrov said.
Meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang
In a statement on its website, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang held “a substantive and trustful” exchange of views on key points of the G20 activities.
They also stressed the necessity of strengthening Russia-China cooperation in other platforms, including the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
The two diplomats discussed the situation in Ukraine, including the “Chinese position on the political settlement” and other international topics, expressed their protest against attempts of interference in the internal affairs of other states, “blackmail in the form of sanctions” and “counteractions to the democratization of international relations.”
They also signed a plan of consultations for 2023.
“Once again, please accept my congratulations on your appointment as foreign minister of the People’s Republic of China. I am certain that by working together, we will be able to ensure continuity and steady progress in all areas as agreed by our leaders, including during their Feb. 4, 2022 summit in Beijing,” Lavrov told Qin.
He added that “Moscow and Beijing reaffirmed their shared commitment to these agreements and the overall policy line” that was discussed with Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi during his visit to Moscow in late February.
“We have far-reaching plans for developing bilateral cooperation in all spheres and a packed foreign policy agenda, considering the overall stabilizing role Russia and China play in international relations,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov’s remarks at G20 ministerial meeting
Speaking at the ministerial meeting, Lavrov expressed solidarity with India’s approaches, saying Russia backs tasks set by the Indian presidency — strengthening multilateralism and overcoming crises in the global economy.
He regretted that the Western delegations “turned the work on the agenda of the G20 into a farce” in an attempt to shift their own responsibility for failures in economic policy to others, primarily to Russia.
“The formation of a polycentric world requires recognition of civilizational diversity and mutual respect for interests. It is necessary to abandon the flawed logic of domination, diktat and sanctions.
“We welcome the rise of new centers of influence in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America,” he stressed.
Lavrov supported granting membership in the G20 to the African Union, spoke of the necessity of better positions for developing countries in the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization and the elimination of the Western monopoly in environmental and human rights organizations.
“It’s time to stop playing the food card. Today, the lion’s share of grain supplies from Ukraine goes at dumping prices for fodder to the European Union and not to the poorest states.
“The export of Russian agricultural products is being openly hindered all over the world. The West is shamelessly burying the well-known humanitarian initiative of the UN Secretary-General,” he said.
Russia is open to providing economic stability and equal dialogue in the G20 and expects that the Delhi summit in September this year will at least partially offset the risks created by “the selfish policy of the West,” he added.
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