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Russia didn’t expect consensus on Ukraine — Lavrov

September 10, 2023
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the G20 Summit in New Delhi.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the G20 Summit in New Delhi.

NEW DELHI — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said his country did not expect a consensus on the section about Ukraine in the G20 Summit joint declaration.

Lavrov was responding to a question from the BBC’s Yogita Limaye, at a press conference here, who asked the minister for his views on why all the G20 members had agreed on the language in the statement which differed significantly from the one in Bali last year.

“Perhaps it was the voice of their conscience,” Lavrov said. “Frankly speaking, we didn’t expect that. We were ready to defend our wording of the text.”

Adding that “we cannot isolate that paragraph [on Ukraine and Russia] from the rest of the declaration”, he said it was a sign that the Global South was no longer willing to be lectured.

“They don’t want to be told to follow the Zelensky formula. This is disrespectful to developing countries,” he said. “This is neo colonialism from Western countries and they have failed this time.”

Lavrov has also called the Delhi G20 summit a “milestone” in remarks made at a press conference.

Lavrov said that India as G20 president had played a decisive role in building consensus on the Ukraine paragraphs in the joint declaration. He added that the wording “fully reflects our position”.

The statement speaks about the suffering caused by the war in Ukraine but does not directly mention Russia or criticize it.

Ukraine has expressed its disappointment at the language of the declaration.

Speaking on Sunday, Lavrov said, “The crisis is mentioned but only in reference to all conflicts and those being resolved in accordance with the UN charter.”

“The paragraph is more about geopolitical realities in general. It also contains an important point about how to proceed with food security. It fully reflects our position,” he added.

The fact that Western countries — which have strongly condemned Russia’s invasion — consented to the language is a step in the right direction, he said.

He also reiterated that Russia was ready to resume the Black Sea grain deal if its conditions were met. — BBC


September 10, 2023
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