Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has defended the military operation in Ukraine and dismissed those who condemned it in New Delhi on Friday.

Lavrov bluntly said in an interview that the G-20 summit in the Indian capital was focused on “what to do with Ukraine” and said the economic group was never concerned about past conflicts in other nations.

He called interviewer Sunjoy Joshi, president of the Observer Research Foundation, an “ideal Soviet-style propagandist” after asking what the “endgame” is in Ukraine.

Lavrov also said that people are suffering not because of the conflict in Ukraine but because of sanctions and what he called blackmail.

He added that Russia’s only option was to begin what he called an “operation” in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the top diplomats of Australia, India, Japan and the United States said on Friday that their Indo-Pacific-focused bloc, known as the Quad, does not aim to antagonize China.

It has released a statement filled with buzzwords and phrases that reflect growing concerns about China’s influence in the region.

This comes a day after China and Russia blocked the G20 from adopting a joint communiqué on Russia’s war on Ukraine when the Quad specifically endorsed language Beijing and Moscow objected to. That dialogue included a line that said, “the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is impermissible.”

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