Jaishankar meets Lavrov; Blinken rules out talks with Russian, Chinese counterparts

G20 summit: Jaishankar meets Lavrov; Blinken rules out talks with Russian, Chinese counterparts

Indian EAM S Jaishankar meets his Russian counterpart on 1 March 2023. Twitter/@DrSJaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday held wide-ranging talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov focusing on the Ukraine conflict, bilateral ties and issues relating to the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting.

The Russian foreign minister landed in New Delhi on Tuesday night to attend a two-day meeting of the G20 foreign ministers that is taking place amid Russia’s escalating confrontation with the Western powers over Ukraine war.

“A wide-ranging discussion with FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia on #G20FMM sidelines. Exchanged views on our bilateral cooperation and G20 issues,” Jaishankar tweeted.

According to a PTI report, the Ukraine conflict figured in the talks.

A Russian readout said the two ministers resolved to enhance coordination on the international stage and in multilateral forums including at the United Nations, G20, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa.

“They confirmed their compliance with the establishment of a polycentric world order based on fair and democratic principles and the rule of law,” it said.

The Russian foreign ministry late last night issued a statement, saying Moscow considers the G20 as a prestigious forum for the world’s leading economies where “balanced” and “consensus” decisions should be made in the interests of all.

“We support India’s G20 presidency in its commitment to promote a unifying agenda that will restore confidence in multilateral diplomacy and prevent the fragmentation of the global economy,” it said.

The ministry also accused the US and its allies of pursuing a “destructive policy” that it claimed put the world on the “brink of a disaster.” “The destructive policy of the US and its allies has already put the world on the brink of a disaster, provoked a rollback in socio-economic development and seriously aggravated the situation of the poorest countries,” it said.

‘BBC must comply with Indian laws’: Jaishankar to UK counterpart

Jaishankar also met his UK counterpart James Cleverly on Wednesday.

The EAM told Cleverly that “all the entities operating in India must comply fully with relevant laws and regulations,” when the latter raised the issue of searches on BBC offices, ANI said citing sources.

Earlier this month, Income Tax authorities conducted searches at the offices of the British broadcaster in New Delhi and Mumbai.

Cleverly told ANI that BBC is an independent organisation and is separate from the UK Government.

US Secretary of State rules out talks with Chinese, Russian counterparts

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in India on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Blinken said that he has no plans to meet either Lavrov or Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang during the G20 meeting in New Delhi.

Blinken said this while he was visiting the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.

“No plans to see either (China or Russia’s foreign ministers) at the G20, although I suspect that we will certainly be in group sessions of one kind or another together,” he said.

With inputs from agencies

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