Russia’s Lavrov dismisses West’s ‘frenzied’ criticism at G-20

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NUSA DUA, INDONESIA (REUTERS) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday (July 8) dismissed what he cast as the West’s “frenzied” criticism of the war in Ukraine at a G20 meeting, scolding Russia’s rivals for scuppering a chance to tackle global economic issues.

Host Indonesia urged the G-20 to help end the war in Ukraine at the meeting, which put some of the staunchest critics of Russia’s invasion in the same room as Moscow’s top diplomat.

“‘Aggressors’, ‘invaders’, ‘occupiers’ – we heard a lot of things today,” Lavrov told reporters.

He said the West’s discussion “strayed almost immediately, as soon as they took the floor, to the frenzied criticism of the Russian Federation in connection with the situation in Ukraine”.

“During the discussion, Western partners avoided following the mandate of the G-20, from dealing with issues of the world economy,” Lavrov said.

Russia says its “special military operation” is intended to degrade the Ukrainian military, root out people it calls dangerous nationalists, and prevent the United States from using Ukraine to threaten Russia.

Ukraine and its Western backers say Russia is engaged in an imperial-style land grab. They say Russia has no justification for the war.

Russia says the West’s attempt to isolate Moscow with the severest sanctions in modern times is akin to a declaration of economic war and that Russia will from now on turn towards China, India and other powers outside the West.

Lavrov said that if the West wanted Ukraine to defeat Russia then there was nothing to talk about with the West, which he said was preventing Kyiv from seeking a peace deal.

Shouts of “When will you stop the war” and “Why don’t you stop the war” were heard as Lavrov shook hands with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi at the start of the meeting.

Russian state television said an attempt to boycott Russia at the G-20 had failed spectacularly and offended Indonesia.

Lavrov added that Russia is ready to negotiate with Ukraine and Turkey about grain but it is unclear when such talks might take place.

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