Lavrov Humiliated After Claiming Ukraine Launched War Against Russia – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was heckled by audience members at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, on Thursday.
The Russian official used his time on stage to argue in defense of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, arguing that they were not the aggressors.
His comments came after a member of the audience asked the Russian official how the war had affected Russia’s strategy on energy, and whether Asia – and India more specifically – will now play a bigger role in it.
“You know, the war, which we are trying to stop, which was launched against us using…” Lavrov began, before members of the audience began laughing loudly and jeering.
Lavrov tried to finish his point, stating, “the Ukrainian people, uh, of course influenced…”
As the crowd continued to heckle him, Lavrov added that Russia’s energy strategy will be to “not rely on any partners,” suggesting Russia plans to be as self-dependent as possible in the future.
Lavrov was taking part in the Raisina Dialogue 2023 series, which was hosted by the chairman of the Observer Research Foundation, Sunjoy Joshi.
While Lavrov remained calm and collected throughout the incident, the reactions to his comment reveal just how much international pressure Russia is up against.
While the Kremlin insists it is “trying to end the war,” with the Russian president insisting Moscow will come to the negotiating table so long as Ukraine accepts all of Russia’s territorial demands, few world leaders believe that Russia is making any real effort to bring the conflict to an end.
India to Continue Purchasing Russian Oil
In September 2022, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Russian president in an in-person meeting that “now is not an era of war.” While Modi made his position on the conflict clear, however, India remains a major customer of the Russian oil industry.
Last year, India purchased Russian oil as much of the Western world started turning to alternative sources. In January, it was revealed how India purchased a record quantity of Russian oil in December of 2022, importing 33 times more oil than in the year previous.
India’s opposition to the war remains steadfast, with Modi reportedly canceling a meeting with Putin in December in an effort to distance himself from Putin over his nuclear warfare threats.
The country is likely to remain a major oil purchaser for as long as it makes financial sense for India, however, with the country’s energy minister saying in February that they will purchase oil from “wherever we have to” as long as the terms remain beneficial.
This is hilarious. And embarrassing. Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Lavrov says “the war we are trying to stop was launched against us” and the Indian audience – supposedly sympathetic – audibly laughs. Russian “diplomats” think that the lies they use to feed Putin’s fantasies… https://t.co/TyUV8WvYQb pic.twitter.com/ue5I61ZvuO
— Konstantin Sonin (@k_sonin) March 3, 2023
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.