First fleeting meeting between the US and Russia since the war began confirms the distance between blocs over Ukraine
“There have been no negotiations”. A very short sentence, but enough to show that the distance between Russia and the United States is growing, as was demonstrated this Thursday at the G-20 foreign ministers’ meeting. New Delhi witnessed the first meeting between the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrovand the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken from the beginning of the invasion of Ukraineand a brief conversation turned out to be enough to demonstrate, once again, that Moscow and Washington in the end represent the two sides in Kiev. The day the positions come closer, if that happens, it will be like crowning a cake with a cherry, but right now Vladimir Putin just wants his piece of the cake.
The two ministers spoke for about ten minutes, according to State Department sources quoted by CNN, who attributed the meeting to Blinken, with which Washington basically wanted to reiterate its support for Kiev.. The leader of U.S. diplomacy also took the opportunity to urge Russia to lift the suspension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), a decision that the White House describes as “irresponsible”. Blinken has recalled that such an agreement stipulates “verifiable limits.” for the two powers in terms of nuclear arsenal.
“Mutual compliance benefits both countries. It is also what is expected of us by the rest of the world“, added the Secretary of State, who said he was ready to talk about arms control with Moscow “no matter what is happening in the world and in bilateral relations”. Meanwhile, the Kremlin also confirmed the brief meeting, which was Blinken’s initiative, despite the fact that it had even ruled out the possibility of a meeting with Moscow. hours earlier the possibility of even a conversationclaiming that the United States “advocates the escalation of conflicts around the world.”
The photo of Blinken and Lavrov was after all the cover of a meeting of ministers that bore as its signature failure. On one side, the West – Kiev’s squires; on the other, Russia and China. And on Ukraine, the consensus between the two blocs is unimaginable. Thursday’s meeting repeated the same pattern that frustrated the G-20 finance ministers’ meeting. a week ago, with Russia and China showing their rejection of the same two key points for the Group of Twenty, which is finding it increasingly difficult to reach a joint agreement.
“It was done a summary because there were differences on the Ukrainian issue, which we were unable to reconcile between the parties with different positions,” Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told a press conference to explain the reasons that prevented the group from presenting a joint agreement. The summary specifies that the points condemning the invasion of Ukraine and the right to uphold “international law and the multilateral system that safeguards peace and stability” were again rejected by Russia and China.
A summary was made because there were differences on the Ukrainian issue, which we were unable to reconcile between the parties with different positions
“The majority of members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and emphasized that. [it]is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economyThe document reads: constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, increasing energy and food insecurity, and raising risks to financial stability”.
However, “there were other points of view and different assessments of the situation and sanctions.” which prevented reaching a unanimous response to this point after the votes against by Russia and China, he continues. Both nations have maintained their position unchanged since the Bali summit last November, where no consensus was reached precisely because they disagreed on these points and Indonesia had to issue a summary statement with the group’s meetings and disagreements.
In that scenario, Russia places the blame squarely on the Western allies. Kiev for the lack of agreement. “Unfortunately, the joint statement of the G-20 ministers, our Western colleagues, failed to be adopted, just like a year ago during the Indonesian presidency, dealt with lies and rhetorical statementsto bring the situation in Ukraine to the forefront,” Lavrov himself told a press conference.
Ukraine does not accept peace at any price
And while everyone is debating Ukraine, Ukraine assures that it does not accept peace at any price vis-à-vis Russia.. The government of Volodimir Zelenski is willing, for example, to sit down with China, but does not consider acceptable the proposal for the cessation of hostilities which Beijing has put on the table and which even Russia views with some reluctance. In Kiev the discourse does not change. “We will not accept something that will keep our occupied territories and our people at the mercy of the aggressor.”Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Eugenia Filipenko assured the Conference on Disarmament.
Filipenko, in fact, implicitly asks that not to make too many calculations about how long it will take for that peace to come. “Do not ask yourselves when the war will end, but how to help the Ukraine to defeat it more quickly.“, she told her colleagues. The Ukrainian representative assured that the military aggression caused a serious imbalance in the global security system, “undermining the effectiveness and confidence in the regimes of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction”.
Meanwhile, the EU is also on the move and the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, has proposed. this Thursday to the Member States of the European Union a plan of 1 billion euros. for the guaranteed supply of artillery ammunition to Ukraine, especially 155 caliber.
The initiative comes from the head of EU diplomacy who, as confirmed by several diplomatic sources, has asked the EU-27 for an extraordinary support package of 1 billion, especially focused on the supply of ammunition as soon as as soon as the 2 billion agreed by the Member States last December is released. to replenish the European Peace Facility, the instrument with which the EU has financed arms shipments to Ukraine during the war.