The United States will not apologize for the conversation between Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and the Russian Foreign Minister, as disturbing topics were raised during it. This was announced on Thursday, March 2, by the head of the press service of the US State Department, Ned Price, during a briefing for journalists.
“I know our Russian colleagues are trying to make a fuss out of this. But on our part, it is important to note that this was a short contact, and not a full-fledged bilateral meeting. But in a broader sense, we will not apologize for actions in our interests,” Price explained.
He also added that no new contacts with Russia are planned at the moment.
“Of course, we are always open to dialogue, we believe in dialogue, diplomacy, especially in times of tension, given the current state of relations between our countries. There are issues that are deeply important to the US and also deeply important to the rest of the world. But there was no agreement or consensus following this brief contact regarding any follow-up discussions,” Price said.
Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Lavrov spoke to Blinken “on the go” during the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Summit, noting that there were no talks or meetings between them.
Blinken later said that he appealed to Lavrov to reverse the decision to suspend participation in the Offensive Arms Reduction Treaty (START). He also added that the implementation of the agreement is in line with bilateral relations.
The Associated Press also reported that the Secretary of State, in a conversation with Lavrov, said that the United States would support Ukraine for as long as necessary, and called for the release of Paul Whelan, convicted of espionage. In total, the dialogue on the sidelines of the summit in New Delhi lasted 10 minutes.
Later, Maria Zakharova called Anthony Blinken’s statements cheap self-promotion. In her opinion, the American Secretary of State has nothing to show the citizens of the country on the main issues of the international agenda.
Lavrov arrived at a meeting of G20 foreign ministers in New Delhi earlier in the day. During his speech, he pointed out that Western countries have sacrificed all the issues that should form the “core” of the G20 summit agenda to their ambitions in Ukraine. Now all multilateral institutions are being tested for compliance with new geopolitical realities, and organizations such as the UN or the G20 will have to prove their relevance, the Russian Foreign Minister stressed.
In addition, the Russian minister said that a number of Western delegations turned the work on the G20 agenda into a farce, and apologized for their behavior.
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