It was the first international appearance by a Russian leader since the February 24 invasion of Ukraine. Moscow’s chief diplomat, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (72), wanted to demonstrate a stable Russia at the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Bali. He is paving the way for his boss, wartime president Vladimir Putin, 69, when the Bali summit of G20 leaders and governments takes place in November. Everything happened differently, very quickly. Lavrov was criticized at every turn. And took flight. He left the meeting early.
It finally came to a head when Lavrov’s Western counterparts refused to take a group photo with the Russian. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (60) led the boycott, as did a Japanese news agency. Kyoto as reported on the site. Colleagues join Blingen. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbach (41) later announced that “there will be no official photo at this G20 meeting” because of the “cold-blooded” Russian aggression in Ukraine. One cannot “stand by such a one smiling.”
Before the group photo, which is always common at such gatherings, there was trouble. Blinken and other Western counterparts decided to skip a reception on Thursday because Lavrov will be there. The host, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi (59), expressed his understanding and respect for the decision.
Dress rehearsal for Putin fails
Criticism poured in on Lavrov from all sides. Upon his arrival at the luxury hotel Mulia in the seaside resort of Nusa Dua, ZDF reporter Andreas Kinast called out to the Russian foreign minister in English: “When are you going to stop the war”. In German: “When will you end the war.” Another German journalist called Lavrov: “Why don’t you stop the war?”. “Why don’t you end the war?”
Inside the plenum, things continued without a hitch. At the start of the meeting, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi (59) called for an end to the war in Ukraine as quickly as possible. “It is our responsibility to end the war quickly and resolve our differences at the negotiating table, not on the battlefield.”
Russian refusal to speak
Germany’s foreign minister, Baerbach, criticized Moscow for not “showing a millimeter of willingness to talk”. Berbach accused Lavrov of refusing to talk. At that time, the first fuses began to blow in the humiliated Russian language. His appearance must have been a dress rehearsal for his boss: how Putin, 69, will be greeted at the same venue in November. The answer soon became clear.
Lavrov gave his short speech and then left the room, ignoring his critics. Speaking to reporters, Lavrov also accused the West of obstructing the transition to a peaceful settlement in Ukraine. If the EU and the US want to win the war in Ukraine, “we have nothing to discuss with the West.”
That same day, his boss in Moscow, Putin, accused the West of wanting to fight for “the last Ukrainian.” Russia’s armed forces have yet to actually start a war.
There were also sharp words from Ukraine about Lavrov’s performance in Bali. Kiev was already angry that even Lavrov was invited. Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak (50) accused the Russians of “primitive propaganda”.
“Wannabe pop culture fanatic. Zombie advocate. Entrepreneur. Internet evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Typical travel buff.”