Blinken and Lavrov Speak at G20

Blinken and Lavrov during a meeting prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On Thursday U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had a brief “on the move” conversation that lasted less than 10 minutes. This was their first meeting since Russia started its invasion of Ukraine. Blinken reportedly urged Russia to end the war in Ukraine and to reconsider the decision to suspend the New START treaty.  Blinken was quoted as saying, “I told the foreign minister that no matter what else is happening in the world or in our relationship, the United States will always be ready to engage and act on strategic arms control, just as the United States and the Soviet Union did even at the height of the Cold War.” Blinken added that he, “urged Russia to reverse its irresponsible decision and return to implementing the New START treaty.” The Russian Foreign Ministry said they didn’t consider the “on the move” conversation to be any form of negotiation and they maintained their position that the U.S. must end their “hybrid war against Russia,” before Russia would consider any negotiants involving arms control.