Blinken Urges Russia to Rejoin New START Treaty in Face-to-Face Meeting
NEW DELHI — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a brief encounter Thursday on the sidelines of a meeting of the Group of 20 nations in India, their first face-to-face interaction since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
The meeting comes amid some of the most heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow in decades and is the first time the two have spoken in-person since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago. According to a senior US State Department official, the meeting lasted less than 10 minutes.
In the brief meeting, Blinken urged Russia to rejoin the New START nuclear arms control treaty, calling its recent withdrawal an “irresponsible decision” and urged Moscow to reverse its suspension of cooperation in the New START nuclear arms treaty and accept a U.S. proposal for the release of U.S. citizen Paul Whelan.
Mittal reported that the United States reiterated its steadfast support for Ukraine, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to reverse the suspension of the NEW START nuclear arms treaty. At a press conference, Lavrov accused Western nations of emotionally charged statements that derailed the G20 agenda. Additionally, Lavrov voiced his backing for China, which had been reprimanded by the US and Germany for providing arms to Russia.
In an attempt to make it clear to Moscow that U.S. support for Ukraine was not diminishing, Blinken stated that the U.S. would continue to offer military and economic aid for an indefinite period of time, according to the official. The official refused to go into detail about Lavrov's answer, but they indicated that the United States did not expect Russia to alter its stance on the conflict in Ukraine.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine proposed a 10-point plan to end the war, however, Moscow has not been willing to take part in diplomatic talks, according to him.
At a press conference later on Thursday, Secretary of State Blinken declared that President Zelensky had proposed a 10 point plan for a just and lasting peace, and the United States is ready to assist Ukraine diplomatically in order to bring an end to the conflict based on that plan.
Janet Yellen, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, recently visited Ukraine and promised additional economic assistance from the U.S. Additionally, the U.S. declared another big package of weapons to be delivered to Ukraine.
0. “Blinken Had a 10-Minute Conversation With Lavrov at G-20 Meeting” Bloomberg, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-03-02/blinken-pressed-lavrov-in-rare-but-brief-meeting-at-g-20-summit
1. “U.S. and Russia's top diplomats meet for the first time since the Ukraine war began” WBUR News, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.wbur.org/npr/1160572133/lavrov-putin-meet-g20
2. “Blinken met with Russian foreign minister for first time since Ukraine war began” CNN, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/02/politics/antony-blinken-sergey-lavrov-g20/index.html
3. “Blinken and Lavrov hold `brief` meeting, first in-person since Ukraine war outbreak” WION, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.wionews.com/world/blinken-and-lavrov-hold-brief-meeting-first-in-person-since-ukraine-war-567675
4. “U.S. and Russia's top diplomats meet for the first time since the Ukraine war began” NPR, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/03/02/1160572133/lavrov-putin-meet-g20