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Russia’s Lavrov says conversation with Blinken on sidelines of G20 was ‘constructive’

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that a conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers' meeting in India last week was “constructive,” but he heard nothing new from the US side.

Speaking in an interview on Russian state TV, Lavrov said the pair spoke for 10 minutes and discussed nuclear arms issues and the conflict in Ukraine. It was the first meeting between the pair since Russia invaded Ukraine last February.

“We spoke constructively, without emotions, we shook hands,” Lavrov said.

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“Everything I heard was a position that has already been expressed and underlined in public many times before. I gave my honest, detailed assessment about the New START treaty, and why we saw it necessary to suspend it,” he said.

President Vladimir Putin Russia suspended the New START nuclear arms treaty last month, accusing the United States of trying to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Russia in Ukraine. Russia said on Friday it was still in contact with Washington over the treaty, but held out little prospect of returning to it.

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