Zakharova calls Blinken’s conversation with Lavrov an election campaign in the United States

Initiated by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, a brief conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during the G20 in India was a pre-planned election campaign. This was announced on Sunday, March 5, by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, on the air of the Rossiya-1 TV channel.

“This is not even an advertisement, this is an initially planned action in order to somehow build up some, if I can say, muscles on the international track during their election campaign,” Zakharova said.

The representative of the Foreign Ministry explained that after this conversation, the American media staged a “media bacchanalia”, while journalists reported that Blinken and Lavrov held “almost multi-format negotiations” on the topic of disarmament, which was not true.

Zakharova added that the White House has no achievements at the moment, the United States has not succeeded in isolating Russia, and therefore they can only “little shit, which is what they are doing.” Therefore, the conversation with Lavrov became an opportunity for the American administration to create at least some positive agenda.

“They tried to model this element of a constructive positive agenda in those two, three, four minutes, when Blinken caught on some part of Lavrov’s clothes on the sidelines of the G20 meeting,” Zakharova said.

The conversation between Blinken and Lavrov took place on March 2 during the G20 Foreign Ministers Summit. The US Secretary of State said that he had appealed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation with a call to cancel the decision to suspend participation in the Treaty on the Reduction of Offensive Arms (START, START-3). President Vladimir Putin announced the suspension of Russia’s participation in START on February 21 as part of his message to the Federal Assembly.

Also in the dialogue, Blinken stressed that the United States would support Ukraine for as long as necessary, and called for the release of Paul Whelan, an American convicted of espionage, who was detained in Moscow at the end of December 2018. In total, the conversation on the sidelines of the summit in New Delhi lasted 10 minutes. At the same time, such contact was positively assessed in the office of the UN Secretary General.

Later, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, told Izvestia that there had been no dialogue about the fate of Paul Whelan. She also wondered why a representative of the US presidential administration is deceiving his citizens, and suggested that for Blinken this is “self-promotion” and part of the electoral game.

On March 2, State Department spokesman Ned Price announced that the US would not apologize for Anthony Blinken’s conversation with Sergey Lavrov, despite the fact that “Russian colleagues are trying to make a fuss out of it.” He also added that so far no new contacts with Russia are planned.

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