The G20 foreign ministers met in Bali, but the atmosphere was quite cool inside. The foreign ministers of America, Canada, and the European Union (EU) walked out when the Russian minister Sergey Lavrov was just about to make his presentation. All to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And he returned the favor, according to The Daily Beast.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken led the charge to forego the usual “family” photo. The G7 members joined him, the Japanese news service Kyodo reported. The host of Indonesia’s Summit, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, said they understood the undercurrent, according to Reuters.
Lavrov told the Russian television station, according to The POLITICO:
‘In terms of meeting with me, the declaration that they won’t be photographed with me—I never asked anyone to be photographed. Yesterday, there was a reception that the Indonesians organized; it was sort of an introductory reception with a concert, and they [Western leaders] didn’t attend.’
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Maria Zakharova spoke to the German DPA press agency that Lavrov will not attend meetings or an “official dinner:”
‘[The Russian foreign minister] is still holding bilateral talks, then he will speak to the press and leave.’
Russian media has long been under the thumb of the state and consists primarily of doctored news and propaganda. Russia 24 showed an interview with Lavrov, which likely confirmed how events unfolded, but only a clipped version because it reinforced our enemy’s attitude toward us:
‘In terms of meeting with me, the declaration that they won’t be photographed with me — I never asked anyone to be photographed. Yesterday, there was an reception that the Indonesians organized, it was sort of an introductory reception with a concert, and they [Western leaders] didn’t attend.’
Secretary Blinken and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock apparently avoided Lavrov at the summit. Canada, the U.S., and European delegations stood up and left just at the time Lavrov started his presentation, they walked out, too.
EU’s Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said the Bali event happened at an unfortunate time:
‘[The] grave context following Russia’s appalling war against Ukraine. In the face of aggression, no one can be neutral.’
When Germany’s Prime Minister Baerbock urged a halt to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Lavrov got up and walked out, Al Jazeera reported.
Later Lavrov had a press meeting behind closed doors and blew off the West’s “frenzied” criticisms.” He said this was “expectedly unproductive.” Then, he added that Russia would welcome negotiations with Turkey and Ukraine regarding the tragic lock on grain waiting in Ukrainian ports along the Sea of Azov.
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