Sergey Lavrov left the room immediately after his speech, in the midst of a tense atmosphere and surrounded by criticism for the invasion of Ukraine
It was already seen coming on Thursday, when the meeting of G20 foreign ministers began in Bali (Indonesia), that the presence of the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergey Lavrov, at the forum was going to be tense. The calls for Moscow to put an immediate end to the war in Ukraine, the multiple reproaches, the refusal to meet with him from Western ministers and even the refusal to appear in the family photo made Lavrov put his foot down and leave the meeting ahead of time in a hasty way and without participating in the afternoon session and the official dinner. This is at least what the delegation of the European Union has assured.
The altercations began almost immediately after the Russian representative’s arrival in Bali on Thursday. While posing in the company of the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi, someone asked shouting “when will they stop the war?”, to which Lavrov did not respond. He himself commented to a group of journalists who told him everything during the summit in a “frantic” way: “They urged us to stop this operation and reach a peaceful settlement, but I asked them to clarify what they really want. If they want peace talks, the ones who interrupted them were the Ukrainians (…) but, if what they want is not negotiations, but Ukraine’s victory over Russia on the battlefield, then probably there is simply nothing to what to talk.”
But Marsudi, the host of the meeting, said “it is our responsibility to end the war sooner rather than later and resolve our differences at the negotiating table, not on the battlefield.” The High Representative of the EU, Josep Borrell, for his part, stated in his speech that “a rapid response to many of these problems remains in the hands of one man: President Putin, who must stop this senseless war and prevent a catastrophe world food and energy
The family photo was frustrated when, according to information from the Japanese agency Kyodo, the foreign ministers of the G7 countries refused to be photographed with Lavrov. Apparently, the initiative came from the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. For her part, the German minister, Annalena Baerbock, stated that “I cannot be next to someone who bombs Ukraine, attacks children, adults, civilians (…) there will not be a group photo of this summit.”
To all this, the main Russian diplomat pointed out that “as for the meetings with me, the declarations that they would not take photos with me, I did not invite anyone to be photographed. And in general, I did not invite anyone anywhere. Indonesia invited me. As Indonesia has invited President Vladimir Putin to participate in November in the summit» of heads of state and government of the G20.
Lavrov left the room immediately after his intervention. Baerbock followed in word order. Borrell told reporters that Lavrov spoke and did not wait to listen to others, conduct he called “disrespectful.” Before taking the microphone, the Russian minister had been sitting with the delegations from Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
The kyiv Onslaught
The harshest intervention was carried out by the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmitro Kuleba, also without Lavrov present in the room: «After everything Russia has done in the last six months, it has no place in any international forum. A country that is waging a war of aggression against its neighbor and committing massive and brutal crimes against the civilian population only needs to go to one place, to the International Criminal Court.”
No longer present in the afternoon, Lavrov missed Blinken’s speech, which urged Moscow to unblock Ukrainian ports to allow the export of grain. “I appeal to our Russian colleagues, Ukraine is not their country. Ukraine grain is not yours. Why are they blocking the ports? ”, Said the US Secretary of State. The Russian foreign minister had said that “Ukraine is the one that must unblock its ports, clear them of mines or guarantee safe passage through minefields.”
Lavrov also complained in a meeting with Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Alberto Franco França that some countries “try to prevent contacts in multilateral formats.” In his words, «I appreciate the position of the majority of the countries of Asia, Latin America, Africa. Whoever thinks of any of us, we must not undermine multilateral formats.”
Lavrov has held meetings in Bali only with his Chinese counterparts, Wang Yi; Turkish, Mevlut Cavusoglu; Indian, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar; Argentine, Santiago Cafiero, and Brazilian, Carlos Alberto Franco França. He also with the Indonesian minister and spoke briefly with his Mexican counterpart, Marcelo Ebrard, while they were sitting together, but without organizing a formal meeting.
An apparently not too broad agenda, although the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zajárova, assured through her Telegram account that “Lavrov’s so-called isolation became self-isolation from the West.” In her opinion, “the G7 plan to boycott Russia in the G20 failed. No one supported Western regimes.”
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