Washington and allies
condemned Russia’s assault ahead of the meeting before Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov faced what US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called a barrage of
Western criticism at the closed-door talks.
“What we’ve heard today
already is a strong chorus from around the world… about the need for the
aggression to end,” Blinken said from the meeting on the resort island of Bali.
Blinken and Lavrov had joined
colleagues for day-long talks in their first meeting since the outbreak of war,
with the host immediately telling them the conflict must end through
But Lavrov walked out of a
morning session as German counterpart Annalena Baerbock criticized Moscow over
its invasion, diplomats said.
He also left an afternoon
session before Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba addressed the ministers
virtually and was not present as Blinken condemned Russia.
“Our Western partners are
trying to avoid talking about global economic issues,” Lavrov told reporters
outside the Mulia hotel. “From the moment they speak, they launch into fevered
criticism of Russia.”
Blinken shunned a meeting with
Lavrov and instead accused Russia of triggering a global food crisis, demanding
Moscow allow grain shipments out of war-battered Ukraine.
“To our Russian colleagues:
Ukraine is not your country. Its grain is not your grain. Why are you blocking
the ports? You should let the grain out,” Blinken said in the closed-door
talks, according to a Western official present.
Lavrov earlier told reporters
he would not “go running” after Washington for talks.
“It was not us who abandoned
contact, it was the United States,” he said.