Opposing Russia’s Aggression: Raisina Dialogue Conference Exchange
In a rare international conference that still invites Russian officials, despite Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the audience was met with awkward exchanges and laughter. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke at the Raisina Dialogue conference in New Delhi, India, hosted by the Observer Research Foundation, and was met with mixed reactions.
One exchange resulted in loud applause as Lavrov accused the West of having a double standard, noting its heavy criticism of Russia's invasion of Ukraine despite Western powers having invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. The response was not as favorable in another instance.
Although some of Lavrov's comments elicited laughter from the audience, not all of them did. The audience applauded in response to the question of the “double standard” of western military intervention.
The audience did laugh, however, when Lavrov claimed that the Ukraine war had been “launched against us.” He quickly tried to recover by saying that it had “influenced Russian policy,” but the audience kept laughing and a member of the crowd even shouted “come on!”
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, also attended the conference and made comments about Russia's aggression in Ukraine. He urged Russia to rejoin the New START nuclear arms control treaty, calling its recent withdrawal an “irresponsible decision,” and said that allowing Russia to do what it is doing in Ukraine will be a message to aggressors everywhere.
Blinken also said that Russia should end its war of aggression and switch to “meaningful diplomacy that can produce a just and durable peace.” He emphasized that he had also raised the wrongful detention of Paul Whelan and said, “The United States has put forward a serious proposal. Moscow should accept it.”
At the same time, Blinken noted that the world’s support of Ukraine and their opposition to Russia’s aggression is “a powerful motivator” for other countries to stand up against similar threats.
In conclusion, the exchange between Lavrov and the audience, as well as the comments from Blinken, demonstrate the world’s continued opposition to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
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