Lavrov ‘not constructive or productive’ at ASEAN talks: Blinken

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov offered only a “negative” vision as the two sat in the same room at Southeast Asian talks.

Lavrov’s involvement was not “constructive or productive” and he offered a “totally negative presentation and agenda,” Blinken told reporters after the talks in Jakarta.

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He said Moscow’s top diplomat “effectively ascribed every problem in the world to the United States.”

Blinken also pressed for Russia to extend a grain deal that expires next week, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaled his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had agreed to do so.

Both Blinken and Lavrov were in the Indonesian capital to meet with Southeast Asian leaders, and both also held direct talks with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi.

The comments from Blinken came after the European Union’s foreign policy chief said Lavrov lashed out against criticism of Moscow’s Ukraine invasion.

“Lavrov responded (to) me very aggressively and explained his point of view, saying everything is a ‘West conspiracy’ and the war will continue... as Russia is not at all ready to stop the aggression and withdraw troops,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters after ASEAN Regional Forum talks.

Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine last year has cemented a deep Cold War-style rupture between Russia and the West, with the United States and major European powers supporting Kyiv with financial and military aid.

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