Title: Indian and Russian Foreign Ministers Meet to Discuss Bilateral Issues Ahead of G20 Summit
Date: September 6, 2023
In a significant diplomatic development, Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Jakarta on September 6, 2023. The meeting between the two ministers aimed to address crucial bilateral matters and enhance coordination in various multilateral forums such as the UN, SCO, BRICS, and G20.
One of the primary motives behind the meeting was India’s attempt to find a common ground on the issue of Ukraine for the G20 Declaration. By doing so, India hopes to secure a diplomatic triumph during the upcoming G20 summit. The Russian readout of the meeting suggests that Moscow may not block India’s desired outcome, as it could also benefit President Biden’s interests in the Indo-Pacific region.
Coinciding with this meeting, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unusual visit to Kiev, Ukraine. During the visit, Blinken focused on Ukraine’s post-conflict recovery, reinforcing long-term efforts to strengthen democracy, and rebuilding the economy. Contrary to expectations, Blinken did not issue any threats towards Russia or make any references to liberating Crimea.
The duration of Blinken’s visit, spanning two days, indicates that substantial discussions occurred between Blinken and Ukrainian officials. Observers speculate that President Biden may be interested in initiating peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. The Ukrainian counteroffensive failed to achieve its objectives, and support for the proxy war is diminishing both in America and Europe.
Additionally, the recent appointment of Rustem Umerov as Ukraine’s new Defense Minister holds significance. Umerov, a key negotiator during peace talks with Russia last year, may signify a shift towards peaceful negotiations.
Adding to the intrigue surrounding the state of Russian-American relations, both President Biden and Foreign Minister Lavrov will be arriving in Delhi for the G20 summit. This gathering could provide an opportune platform for crucial discussions between the two nations.
Furthermore, the Turkish Defense Ministry has expressed readiness to actively partake in establishing a ceasefire and offering support to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. This willingness from Turkey adds weight to the increasing international pressure for a peaceful resolution.
Notably, Zaporozhye Region Acting Governor Yevgeny Balitsky, a Kremlin appointee, recently highlighted the necessity for a neutral negotiating platform to address mutual concerns between Russia and Ukraine. These remarks, made on instructions from the Kremlin, were likely timed to convey Moscow’s openness to negotiations.
As the G20 summit approaches, the convergence of global leaders and the discussions between various nations will shed light on the evolving dynamics of Russian-American relations and efforts towards resolving the crisis in Ukraine.