Yesterday, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, was humiliated at a conference of G-20 officials in Delhi, India. During a question-and-answer session, Mr. Lavrov was asked how the Ukraine war would affect Russia’s energy policy vis-à-vis Asia, particularly India. He began his response as follows:
“The war, which we are trying to stop, which was launched against us using Ukrainian people, of course, influenced the policy of Russia, including energy policy.”
Before he could continue his remarks, the audience erupted in laughter. After the laughter died down a bit, and Mr. Lavrov tried to continue along the same lines, a voice in the audience could be heard shouting something that sounded like “Come on!”
[Listen for yourself at the following website: https://www.9news.com.au/world/russia-ukraine-update-foreign-minister-sergei-lavrov-laughed-at-false-invasion-claims-g20-india/11102c45-3f79-4583-8416-a41f6b5234f3 ]
At another point in his remarks, however, Mr. Lavrov managed to save a bit of face, receiving loud applause by claiming that Western countries operate according to a double standard.
“Have you been interested in these years what is going on in Iraq, what is going on in Afghanistan? [You] believe that the United States has the right to declare a threat to its national interest, any place on earth, like they did in Yugoslavia, in Iraq, in Libya, in Syria… and you don’t ask them any questions?”
India is the world’s largest democracy and second largest overall (to China) in population. Recent news reports indicate that India has been taking advantage of cheap Russian oil, in complete disregard of President Biden’s attempts to isolate Russia’s economy. Thus, the fact that a sophisticated audience in India was not willing to swallow everything that Mr. Lavrov was selling was more than a bit comforting to Spirited Reasoners.