NEW DELHI: US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will arrive in Delhi on Wednesday after the G20 Foreign Ministers dinner ostensibly to avoid sharing space with Russian and the Chinese foreign ministers Sergey Lavrov and Qin Gang.
“I have no plans to see either at the G20,” Blinken was quoted as saying in Tashkent before leaving for Delhi. He, however, did say he will take part in group sessions with them.The Russian invasion of Ukraine is expected to cloud most of the sessions in the upcoming meet.
Given the sharp divergence in positions of member-states on the matter, a joint statement appears unlikely, though foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra said, “It would not be correct to prejudge the outcome of the meeting.” There was no joint communiqué at the recently concluded G20 Finance Ministers’ meet in Bengaluru either.
Lavrov had last had a one-on-one with Blinken in January 2022 in Geneva, when the US had warned Russia against Ukraine’s invasion. Though Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi is skipping the G20 due to prior engagements, he could arrive on Friday for a Quad meet on the sidelines of the main event.
Ahead of an expected bilateral meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang on Thursday, China said it values its ties with India, adding a sound relationship is in the fundamental interests of both countries and its people.
Jaishankar on Wednesday held wide-ranging talks with Lavrov on various issues, including Ukraine. “A wide ranging discussion with FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia on #G20FMM sidelines. Exchanged views on our bilateral cooperation and G20 issues,” Jaishankar tweeted. Lavrov will also attend the Raisina Dialogue 2023.
Positioning on Ukraine war
The US and its Western allies in the G-20 will push for the group to adopt a tougher stand on the war. Lavrov may make a statement on the causes and masterminds of geopolitical problems, including the Nord Stream pipeline blast