Secretary of State Antony Blinken will not be holding a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, this week, the State Department said.
According to The Hill, State Department spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday that the “time is not right” for bilateral engagement with Russia because of the war in Ukraine. Both Blinken and Lavrov arrived in Bali on Thursday ahead of the planned G20 meetings.
Russia confirmed on Thursday that there are no plans for a Blinken-Lavrov meeting. “Nothing is being planned,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said, according to Tass. “Given the circumstances, existing contacts via embassies and sporadic telephone calls are quite enough for us to work in detail on current issues.”
The US has abandoned diplomacy with Russia since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Blinken hasn’t spoken with Lavrov since February 15, and President Biden hasn’t shown any interest in holding talks with Putin.
Blinken canceled his last planned meeting with Lavrov on February 22, after Russia recognized the independence of the Donbas republics, a move that came right before the invasion.
Russia has said it’s open to holding arms control talks with the US, as only one nuclear arms treaty remains between the two powers, but the Biden administration hasn’t shown any interest in pursuing such negotiations.