EXTERNAL AFFAIRS Minister S Jaishankar on Friday met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Bali, on the sidelines of the G-20 foreign ministers’ conclave in the Indonesian city.
While the conversation with Lavrov included discussion on global issues including the crisis in Ukraine and the situation in Afghanistan, the conversation with Blinken focussed on “collective efforts to address the implications of Russia’s war against Ukraine”.
“Met FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia on the sidelines of the Bali #G20FMM. Discussed bilateral matters of mutual interest. Also exchanged views on contemporary regional and international issues including the Ukraine conflict and Afghanistan,” Jaishankar tweeted.
The Jaishankar-Lavrov talks came a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed in a phone conversation the state of global energy and food markets in the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis. India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.
On his conversation with Blinken, Jaishankar said, “Continued the conversation with @SecBlinken on global and regional issues, this time at Bali #G20FMM. Our relationship today allows us to approach a range of challenges with greater understanding and openness.”
Blinken tweeted, “Met with Indian External Affairs Minister @DrSJaishankar today to discuss how we can further strengthen our bilateral partnership as well as collective efforts to address the implications of Russia’s war against Ukraine.”
Prime Minister Modi recently met US President Joe Biden at the G-7 leaders’ summit in Germany.
After the talks, the US State department said Blinken and Jaishankar discussed collective efforts to mitigate the global implications of “Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine”.
It said Blinken welcomed India’s decision to join the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity.
In his opening remarks, Blinken said challenges of food and energy security have been “dramatically exacerbated by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine” even as he described India as a “great partner” of the US.
“We’re, of course, here together at the G20, which is a vital institution for trying to deal collectively with some of the most significant problems and challenges that the world faces, as well as opportunities that are before us that are really affecting the lives of our people,” Blinken said.
The text of the opening remarks was released by the US State Department. “Whether it is on the challenging side — food insecurity, energy insecurity, climate change — but also whether it’s opportunities for growth, for jobs, for progress, people’s lives, the G20 is a vital institution,” Blinken said. — With PTI inputs