G20 Foreign Ministers meeting: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said that PM Modi is right that there are challenges to the multilateral system. However, he added that those challenges in many ways are coming directly from Russia which is violating the principles that lie at the heart of that system.
Speaking at G20 Foreign Ministers' meeting in New Delhi, Blinken said, "End this war of aggression, engage in meaningful diplomacy that can produce just endurable peace. United States stands ready to support Ukraine through diplomacy."
Lashing out at Russia, Blinked said, "President Putin, however, has demonstrated zero interest in engaging while doubling down on his brutalisation of Ukraine. Independent of what Russia does we show it here in Delhi what we will do."
"The statement by G20 Chair-India today reaffirmed the declaration issued by G20 leaders last year in Bali which "strongly condemned" the war in Ukraine. Russia and China were the only two countries that made it clear that they won't sign on to that text."
"What we've seen is outcome document which reflects shared agreements on many issues by all foreign ministers here today. On case of Russia's war against Ukraine, you've everyone in G20 signing on what was said in Bali. Broad consensus across G20 to work together," Secretary of State said.
"We are world's two biggest democracies, it's part of our national ethos. We have to work together that our democarcy can deliver on people's needs," Blinken said over concerns of 'democratic backsiliding and human rights issues in India'
"We have to hold ourselves to core values including respect for human rights like freedom of speech, freedom of religion & freedom of assembly. So we regularly engage with Indian counterparts to encourage Indian government to uphold human rights justice and we look ourseleves to do same thing. This is the issue we discuss with foreign minister S Jaishankar," he added.
Blinken-Russian counterpart Lavrov meeting
Speaking about his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in New Delhi, Blinken said, "I spoke briefly with Russian FM Lavrov today. I urged Russia to reverse its irresponsible decision and return to implementing the new START Treaty."
"I told Russian FM that no matter what else is happening in the world and our relationship, the US will always be ready to engage and act on strategic arms control just as the US and Soviet Union did at the height of the Cold War."
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