Lavrov misses G20 sessions after Western condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was absent from several meetings with his counterparts in the Group of Twenty countries, after a torrent of Western statements condemning Moscow’s military attack on Ukraine.

This meeting, which took place on the Indonesian island of Bali, saw the first meeting between Lavrov and his American counterpart Anthony Blinken since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

The summit, organized on the island of Bali, did not lead to any concrete decisions.

At the end of the meeting, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said that the participants “expressed deep concern about the humanitarian consequences of the war” in Ukraine.

Indonesia, which is trying to maintain a neutral position as a host country, has been calling for an end to the conflict from the start of the meeting, warning of its dire consequences for the whole world.

“It is our responsibility to end the war as quickly as possible and resolve our differences at the negotiating table, not on the battlefield,” Marsudi said. in presence of Lavrov.

He stressed that the repercussions of the war “are visible in Worldwide in terms of food, energy e budget. As usual, poor countries e in via development are the hardest hit “.

The G-20 did not unanimously condemn the Russian invasion and “some members” did, in particularly the United States.

For its part, Moscow held today, Friday, that Western countries “could not impose a boycott on Russia during the G-20 meeting.

“The Group of Seven’s plan to boycott Russia in the G20 has failed. Nobody supported Western regimes,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Telegram. You denied that the Russian foreign minister boycotted the meetings, dismissing the accusations by German foreign minister Annalena Birbock that Moscow had “no intention of dialogue”.

As for Blinken, he told reporters: “What we have heard today so far is an important consensus from the whole world, not just the United States … to stop the aggression” of Russia.

These calls did not appeal to Lavrov, who was absent from several meetings.

He left the room in the morning when Germany’s Annalena Barbock criticized Moscow for the war, diplomats said.

Lavrov was also absent from a session during which Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba gave a speech in video, and even left the room when Blinken denounced Russia, according to several diplomats, according to Agence France-Presse.

Blinken refused to meet separately with Lavrov and denounced Russia’s responsibility for the world food and energy crisis, asking Moscow to allow the export of grain from Ukraine.

Lavrov responded, stressing that his country “will not follow” Washington for the talks.

Lavrov accused Western countries of using the G-20 platform for a purpose other than being a forum for discussing major global issues.

“Our Western partners were trying to avoid addressing global economic issues. As soon as they spoke, they immediately launched a fierce criticism of Russia on the situation. in Ukraine as an aggressor, “he said.

Before that, Blinken met with German foreign minister Annalena Birbock, France’s Catherine Colonna and a British representative to discuss this “unwarranted” war, according to the US State Department.

Officials discussed “ways to address global food security concerns stemming from Russia’s deliberate attack on Ukrainian agriculture.”

“Russia was so isolated that Lavrov left the conference at noon after giving his speech,” Colonna told AFP.

“Russia found it isolated, it was held accountable, even by the countries we thought might support it,” he added.

“China also began its speech by saying that the UN Charter should be at the center of international relations,” added Colonna, adding that Westerners have managed to form a united front against Russia.

And he stressed that “the war in Ukraine affects the whole world because of Russia’s behavior “.

The United States, backed by some of its Western allies, has called for Russia’s exclusion from international forums.

However, Indonesia, mindful of its neutrality, confirmed its invitation to the Russian Foreign Minister e in exchange invited his Ukrainian counterpart.

Kuleba asked those attending the meeting “to remember, listening to Russian lies, the 344 families who have lost their children” in Ukraine.

“The minister of state responsible for their murder is before you today to share his thoughts on the vision of Russian cooperation in our globalized world,” he added.

no image

The meeting was influenced by the announcement of the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during an election rally in his country.

Blinken said the shooting of this longtime great US ally was a “very sad moment”.

This ministerial meeting paves the way for a summit of presidents and leaders to be held in November in Bali, originally scheduled to discuss ways to ensure the recovery of the global economy following the shock of the Covid-19 epidemic.

However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine changed priorities and forced Westerners to form a united front to denounce the war and caused a sharp rise in food and energy prices.

An Indonesian official said no group photo would be taken after the meeting, which was characterized by tense discussions.

In Ukraine, Western criticism did not stop the Russian army on Friday from continuing to bomb the Donetsk region to seize the entire Donbass basin, its strategic target since its withdrawal from the Kiev suburbs at the end of March, after four months. and a half of war.

And the Ukrainian governor, Pavlo Kirilenko, announced that the Russian attacks in the Donetsk region resulted in six deaths and 21 injuries. in 24 hours.

The Ukrainian army confirmed that it had rejected a Russian attempt to advance near Sloviansk, but acknowledged the advance of enemy forces south of Seversk.

According to Governor Oleg Senegubov, in the Kharkiv region (northeast), the second largest city in the country, the Russian bombing resulted in four deaths and nine injuries among civilians. in 24 hours.

In the south, Kiev reported hearing explosions Friday morning in the Mykolaiv region, where attempts to launch a counterattack on the occupied city of Kherson since the early days of the war began.