Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during the Raisina Dialogue 2023, in New Delhi, India, on March 3.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during the Raisina Dialogue 2023, in New Delhi, India, on March 3. (Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that “nothing except Ukraine” was of interest to the G20, calling it “a shame.”

“[The] G20 was formed in 1999 at the level of ministers of finance and central bank directors. And then in 2008, it became a ’summit G20.’ Nobody was giving a damn about anything except finances, and macroeconomic policies, which G20 was formed for,” Lavrov told the audience of the Raisina Dialogue, an annual geopolitics conference in New Delhi, India.

“These days, when it’s not something the West is doing, believing that it is right … when Russia has, after many years of warnings, started to defend itself. There is nothing except Ukraine that is of interest to G20. It’s a shame,” the Russian top diplomat added.

Answering a question on how the Ukraine war affected Russia’s energy interest, Lavrov called the conflict “the war which we are trying to stop and which was launched against us using the Ukrainian people,” remarks that were met with generalized laughter from the audience in Delhi.

Some background: Since the beginning of the conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin has portrayed his military operation as a response to a threat posed by NATO to its territory, claiming Moscow had no choice but to defend itself by attacking Ukraine without provocation.

A few days into the war, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution deploring the “aggression” committed by Russia against Ukraine. Russian diplomacy, meanwhile, has assiduously courted nations in the developing world — particularly those which suffered from colonial rule — as a counter to Western condemnation.

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