Published: 2023-03-02 18:28
Last Updated: 2023-09-30 04:04
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov briefly spoke during the G20 summit Tuesday.
The top diplomats spoke face-to-face on the sidelines of a meeting of Group of 20 nations, which was dominated by talks about the Russia-Ukraine war.
The 10-minute meeting was unexpected and came as the Russian government accused Western nations of “blackmail and threats.”
Blinken made three points to Lavrov, starting by saying that the US would continue to support Ukraine in its defense against Russia “for as long as it takes,” according to a senior State Department official.
He added that Russia should rejoin the New START nuclear arms control treaty that it recently withdrew, as well as abide by the terms.
Additionally, Russia should release the imprisoned American citizen Paul Whelan.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Blinken requested the meeting with Lavrov which could mean that the Biden administration wants to keep open lines of communication with Russia, even though it is siding with Ukraine.