Fiery G20 Meeting Sees Russia Accuse West of Extortion

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov

A fiery meeting of G20 foreign ministers in India has seen Russia accuse the west of extortion and threats, claiming that China supported its position.

The event concluded with no joint statement, only a summary prepared by India, the group’s current chair and host.

Antony Blinken, the secretary of state for the United States, spoke briefly with Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, in Delhi on the margins of the meeting to assure him that the United States would continue to support Ukraine.

The 10-minute encounter was the first direct meeting between the two leaders since June 2022. Neither side described it as a conversation. Blinken also urged Moscow to reconsider its decision to suspend participation in the Start Treaty and to release convicted American spy Paul Whelan.

The Russian foreign ministry issued the following statement after a meeting between Lavrov and the Chinese delegation: “Attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, to impose unilateral approaches through blackmail and threats, and to oppose the democratisation of international relations were unanimously rejected.”

Russia appeared to assert that Blinken exerted pressure on G20 delegations to condemn the invasion of Ukraine or support sanctions against China should Beijing decide to arm Moscow.

Blinken stated at the G20 meeting, “We must continue to urge Russia to end its aggressive war and withdraw from Ukraine for the sake of international peace and economic stability.” “It cannot publicly present itself as a force for peace while, in one way or another, it continues to fan the flames of the fire that Vladimir Putin lit,” he urged China.