Zakharova bashes Blinken over remarks about meeting with Lavrov
The Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson slams Blinken's statement as self-promotion, advertising, and unprofessionalism.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova described the statement of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during which he claimed that he had a scheduled meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as self-promotion, advertising, and unprofessionalism.
Zakharova's remarks came in response to an earlier statement by Blinken during which he discussed the specifics of a meeting with Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 ministerial meeting in Mumbai.
Blinken said he specifically urged Russia to resume New START implementation, brought up the case of US citizen Paul Whelan, who was convicted in Russia on espionage charges, and urged Russia to halt the special operation in Ukraine and begin a diplomatic discussion.
"That's not what Mr. Blinken and the US State Department care about. They care about image, PR and self-promotion. They are well aware that the American people are asking what the US Biden administration has done in the field of bilateral relations and those problems that they themselves created. They see what is happening, and that Russia's response to the thoughtless actions of the United States is not long in coming. And, accordingly, Blinken needs to show something to the American people, and he has nothing to show except to catch Lavrov along the corridors," Zakharova was quoted as saying by the Rossiya 1 broadcaster.
"This is all self-promotion, cheap stuff, unprofessional tricks that were sent to close this gap of US diplomacy. Do they want to return to diplomacy? Let them return. If they are engaged in self-promotion and such inexpensive PR, it is possible, although the result will be in line with it," she added.
She also affirmed, as quoted by Sputnik, that "Lavrov responded to all of Blinken's calls in his usual manner."
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke briefly at the meeting of the world's top diplomats in New Delhi, which failed to reach a joint final declaration after objections from Moscow and Beijing.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova indicated that Blinken requested a meeting with Lavrov and the two had a brief conversation afterward.
Earlier, Zakharova clarified that it was obvious that there would be no official meeting between the two top diplomats in New Delhi.
It is noteworthy that the last time Blinken and Lavrov were in the same room was at a G20 meeting in Bali last July.
Until Thursday, there had been no high-level face-to-face contact between the US and Russian governments since the start of the Ukraine war in February 2022, with Washington firmly backing Kiev and spearheading international efforts to isolate Russia.