US Secretary of State Blinken, Russian FM Lavrov meet on sidelines of G20

New Delhi: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Indian capital on Thursday, in their first face to face meeting since the Ukraine conflict broke out a year ago, according to media reports.
Multiple media reported that Blinken and Lavrov met on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in New Delhi.
The two leaders were in the same room for the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting.
Russian spokesperson Maria Zarkhova has been quoted as saying in her media briefing that Blinken asked for ‘contact’ with Foreign Minister Lavrov, and during the second session of the G20 meet they had ‘contact’. She clarified that the two did not hold a full-fledged meeting.
According to BBC, Blinken told his Russian counterpart that the US will support Ukraine “for as long as it takes”.
It is the first time the two have spoken face to face since the start of the Ukraine war one year ago.
A senior State Department official was quoted as saying that the discussion in Delhi lasted less than 10 minutes.
Blinken also told Lavrov that Russia should release Paul Whelan, an imprisoned American citizen, and that Russia should rejoin the New START nuclear arms control treaty that it recently withdrew from.
A State Department official told reporters that Blinken had “disabused” Lavrov of any idea that US support for Ukraine is wavering, BBC said.

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