By Krishn Kaushik and Simon Lewis
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of hypocrisy after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia should not be allowed to go to war with impunity in Ukraine, during a security forum she hosted. attended in New Delhi on Friday.
The top diplomats from Moscow and Washington had both attended the meeting of the group of 20 foreign ministers in the Indian capital earlier this week, meeting in person for the first time since Russian forces invaded Ukraine a year ago.
“If we let Russia do what it is doing in Ukraine with impunity, then that sends a message to would-be aggressors everywhere that they might get away with it too,” Blinken told the Raisina Dialogue forum for strategic affairs.
Speaking at the same forum for strategic affairs after Blinken, Lavrov said it was “using double standards” to question Russia’s action in Ukraine when the United States called a “threat to its national interest” to military intervention in Ukraine. various parts of the world, including the war in Iraq, air raids on Libya and the bombing of Yugoslavia during the 1999 conflict in Kosovo.
Lavrov also said that the question of when Russia will negotiate an end to the war should be put to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“Everyone is asking when Russia is going to negotiate… the West is constantly saying that it is not yet time to negotiate, because Ukraine has to win on the battlefield before negotiations can take place,” he said.
At the G20, the United States and its allies called on member states to continue pressuring Russia to end the conflict, but the G20 was unable to agree on a joint statement on the war due to opposition from China and Russia, which expressed its actions a “special military operation” aimed at removing what it says is a threat to its own security.
The Russian minister then accused Washington of “trying to militarize” the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, a partnership between the United States, Australia, India and Japan that focuses on strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific region.
Earlier in the day, Blinken had met with his counterparts from the Quad, as the group is informally known, and they issued a statement saying that “the use or threat of using nuclear weapons is intolerable”.
Late last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended a landmark nuclear arms control treaty and threatened to resume nuclear testing.
During their brief exchange on the sidelines of the G20 meeting on Thursday, Blinken told Lavrov to end the war and urged Moscow to reverse the suspension of the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) nuclear weapons to make.
The Quad statement also took a thinly veiled swipe at China by denouncing actions that exacerbate tensions in the South China Sea, and the “militarization” of disputed areas in the area.
China has denounced the Quad as a Cold War construct and cabal “targeting other countries”.
(Additional reporting by Tanvi Mehta and Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Written by YP Rajesh; Edited by Simon Cameron-Moore)