Russia would ‘consider’ G20 Putin-Biden meeting – Lavrov
The presidents of Russia and the US might meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia, provided that Washington actually wants to participate, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
“We never reject meetings, and if such a proposal comes, we will consider it,” the top diplomat explained during an interview on Russian television on Tuesday.
He stressed that no such proposal had been sent by the US so far, contrary to what some people may believe.
An opportunity for US President Joe Biden to have a one-on-one meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin may present itself during the upcoming summit of G20 leaders in Bali, Indonesia, which is scheduled for mid-November.
When asked about the possibility of bilateral talks, Biden did not rule it out, telling reporters on Thursday that “it remains to be seen.” Lavrov said that drawing conclusions about the schedules of the two leaders from an off-hand remark was “more suitable for journalistic analytical speculation than for real politics.”
Speaking on Russian political talk show ‘60 Minutes,’ Lavrov called “a lie” claims that the US government was seeking to resolve the stand-off with Russia over the Ukraine crisis and that it was Moscow’s position that prevented peace negotiations.
“We have received no serious proposals for contact. There were some half-hearted approaches, which we did not reject either and suggested that the people, who want to engage with us in backdoor diplomacy, formulate concrete proposals,” Lavrov revealed.
The would-be mediators did not respond properly, he added.
The minister also expressed skepticism that talks with the US could produce substantial results regarding Ukraine, considering the circumstances. He explained that the US had long become a “de facto” party to the conflict by arming the Ukrainian military and feeding them intelligence.