9 July, 12:16 PM

Ex-Ukrainian FM comments on Russia's Lavrov appearance at G20 summit

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov took part in the G20 foreign ministers' summit in Bali, Indonesia, to assess the reaction of the countries to his presence, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko told Radio NV on July 8.

The Kremlin wanted to test world reaction to Russia’s presence at such an event, since the heads of states, including Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, are to meet in the same format in a few months, Ohryzko said.

"Lavrov was sent as a test ball to see what the reaction would be at the meeting, what would be written about it in the world," Ohryzko said.

According to the diplomat, "Putin will now have a kind of dilemma if Russia remains as it is today until November: whether to go or not."

"If I were him, I would not repeat his own feat in Australia in 2014, when people did not want to come to sit next to him. To do it again now is political suicide," Ohryzko said.

Putin was given the cold shoulder at the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, in November 2014 after Russia invaded and started to occupy Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

At that event, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the dictator: "I guess I'll shake your hand but I have only one thing to say to you: you need to get out of Ukraine."

Today, according to Ohryzko, the concept of Russian diplomacy is completely absent due to propaganda.

"No diplomatic functions are left in Russia now," he said.

"(Russian diplomats do nothing) except sit somewhere in some embassies (but this is mostly a cover for spies, not diplomacy) and simulating some turbulent activity. I remembered another moment: a direct supply of cocaine has been established from Argentina by diplomatic planes, which can carry tons of cocaine to Russia."

Lavrov said that Russia had been called an "aggressor, occupier, invader" at the G20 foreign ministers' summit. He left the summit earlier than planned.

Lavrov's presence at the G20 foreign ministers' summit was also seen as a check on Kremlin dictator Vladimir Putin's possible participation in the November 15-16 G20 summit, which will also be held in Bali.

Several heads of state have questioned whether they will attend if Putin personally attends the summit.

Lavrov was boycotted at the G20 foreign ministers' summit.

In particular, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi refused to attend the official dinner if Lavrov was there.

The traditional group photo of all attendees had to be canceled, as some did not want to stand side-by-side with Lavrov.

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