On Thursday, Antony Blinken, the U.S. State Secretary, held a face-to-face meeting with Russian counterpart Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov for the first time since Mr. Putin ordered his unjustifiable incursion of neighboring Ukraine on the sidelines of India’s G20 talks where block’s foreign ministers traded accusations over the brutal conflict. The American diplomat also raised the matter of former US marine Paul Whelan detained in Russia.
Mr. Blinken told Mr. Lavrov to end this war of aggression against Ukrainians. The remarks are the first the U.S. State Secretary has made in face-to-face contact with the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister since the beginning of Moscow’s large-scale invasion around twelve months ago. The diplomats of the two superpowers met briefly on the sidelines of Group of Twenty talks in India’s capital territory on 2nd February 2023.
Lavrov’s presence at the Bali G-20 meeting last year had led to diplomatic drama. But with the war now reaching a stalemate and Ukraine fatigue setting in, Blinken’s 10-minute meeting with Lavrov in New Delhi signals a mutual recognition that only diplomacy can end the conflict.
— Brahma Chellaney (@Chellaney) March 3, 2023
Furthermore, on Feb. 2, Antony J. Blinken bluntly told Mr. Lavrov that Washington plans to assist the courageous forces of Ukraine in the long term in its defense against Moscow’s full-scale incursion. Their meeting was the first since their face-to-face contact in Geneva in January 2022.
Capturing Donbass – One of the Kremlin’s War Objectives
According to media reports, Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, was hit by a terrorist strike in Bryansk City, the southern Russian region bordering Ukraine on the River Desna, and pledged to crush what he said was a Kyiv’s sabotage group that allegedly attacked at innocent civilians. The Kremlin also reported that the Ukrainian personnel had crossed the frontier, fired on a vehicle, taken the life of one, and injured a child, according to the Russian Federal Security Service.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine have firmly held their positions in the destroyed Bakhmut city in eastern Ukraine amid relentless attacks as Moscow forces pushed to claim their first significant gain for over a year. The Kremlin said that capturing the administrative center of Bakhmut Raion would lead to gaining complete control of the remaining of eastern Ukraine’s economic region of Donbass, which is one of the Kremlin’s war objectives.
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