US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero on Friday to discuss the importance of defending democracy, human rights, and food security.
“Good conversation with Argentine Foreign Minister@SantiagoCafiero at the G20 this afternoon. We spoke about the importance of protecting democracy, human rights, food security, and our shared commitment to a secure and prosperous hemisphere,” tweeted Blinken.
Both leaders attended the ongoing G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi, India’s capital. Blinken spoke briefly with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 foreign ministers meeting on Thursday.
“US Secretary of State Blinken asked for ‘contact’ with Foreign Minister Lavrov, during the second session of G20 meet and they had the ‘contact’, there were no talks or full-fledged meeting,” according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zarkhova.
The meeting was the first face-to-face between the two foreign ministers since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began over a year ago, causing a schism between the US-led Western countries and Russia.
According to a senior State Department official familiar with the conversation, “During the less-than-10-minute exchange, Blinken urged Russia to reverse its decision to suspend cooperation in the New START nuclear arms treaty and accept a US proposal for the release of US citizen Paul Whelan.”
According to the US-based newspaper, Blinken reaffirmed Washington’s support for Ukraine’s peace proposal, which preserves the country’s territorial integrity, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive conversations.
According to Sputnik News Agency, Lavrov told a press conference in New Delhi that the West refused to include Russia’s proposal on the need for an investigation into the Nord Stream blasts in the G20 final declaration.
“They [Western countries] also refused to accept another fact in this context, which reflects the events that have taken place since then. I am referring to the terrorist act against the Nord Stream gas pipelines. Our proposal to include in the document the need for an impartial and honest investigation was categorically rejected by our Western partners,” Lavrov said.
On Tuesday, Lavrov arrived in New Delhi for a two-day meeting of the G20 FMM. Speaking at a press conference here, the minister stated that the West insisted on repeating the same text that was adopted in Bali last year, which mentioned the situation in Ukraine.
“The West insisted on reproducing the text on the situation around Ukraine, which was agreed at the G20 summit last year in Bali, completely ignoring our arguments that a lot of events have happened since then, including the sincere confessions of Mrs. [ex-German Chancellor Angela] Merkel, Mr. [former French President Francois] Hollande, Mr. [ex-Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko, and [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky himself that none of them was going to fulfill the Minsk agreements and the purpose of signing the Minsk agreements from the point of view of Western interests was to gain time to pump Ukraine with weapons and prepare it for war against Russia,” Sputnik quoted Lavrov as saying.