(CNN) — The US State Department said, Thursday, that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken “used his brief meeting” with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in India “to convey clear and direct messages that are important to the United States and in many respects to the rest of the world.”
When asked by CNN, a spokesman for the ministry, Ned Price, answered why Blinken chose the current time to speak with Lavrov, saying: “The minister (Blinken) will not hesitate to convey the messages that concern us clearly and directly.”
Price emphasized the short duration of the meeting, saying that it was “not a bilateral meeting or a lengthy discussion,” and mentioned the three topics that were discussed: the war in Ukraine, the New START treaty, and the unfair detention of American Paul Whelan by the Russian authorities.
It is noteworthy that the meeting that took place between the two ministers, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, is the first of its kind since the invasion of Ukraine last year.
The meeting came at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow over Ukraine and Russia’s suspension of its participation in the “New START” treaty.
Russia accuses America of exploiting Ukraine to pose a threat to national security by expanding the area of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to the east to push it towards Russia’s borders, and believes that the Ukrainian government is implementing American and European agendas.
On the other hand, Washington holds Moscow responsible for the war on Ukraine, and has provided Kiev with massive military aid since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.