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Friday, March 31, 2023

Moment Sergei Lavrov laughed at after claiming to have sparked the war in Ukraine – video

A clip of veteran Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sparking laughter after claiming Ukraine was to blame for Vladimir Putin’s invasion has gone viral.

During an event in New Delhi, where he had taken part in talks by the G20 group of industrialized nations, Lavrov struggled to finish a sentence that took a different view of the cause of the war than the international consensus Russia launched in February last year unprovoked invasion.

In a session that was part of the Raisina Dialogue 2023 series, Lavrov was asked by a viewer how the war had affected Russia’s energy strategy.

“The war that we are trying to stop and that has been waged against us,” Lavrov said, before laughter erupted in the audience. Lavrov paused and looked nervous as he tried to continue. He finished the sentence that it “influenced Russian politics” by taking three tries to say the word “influence” amid cackling and a bystander shouting “come on”.

India has resisted pressure to criticize Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine and, in turn, has benefited from increased trade with Russia. Last month she abstained in a vote at the United Nations General Assembly condemning Russian aggression, a stance she has taken following previous UN resolutions. The Kremlin will hope India maintains its stance despite Delhi calling for negotiations to end the war.

As of Saturday, the video clip had received more than a million views and sparked many comments on social media. “This is hilarious. And embarrassing,” tweeted Konstantin Sonin, a Russian-born economist and professor at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.

“Russian ‘diplomats’ think the lies they use feed Putin’s fantasies [to get promoted] could be construed as anything but lies by anyone else,” added Sonin.

Journalist and Russia observer Julia Davis wrote: “Laughter so loud had to be heard in Moscow.”

“Joker, fool or idiot. A joker is a funny character found in the circus, while a jester is a person employed to entertain his master,” tweeted Ukraine’s envoy to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya, adding: “Disgraceful idiot! “

Ukrainian internal affairs adviser Anton Gerashchenko tweeted: “Lavrov repeated Russia’s favorite story in New Delhi – that ‘we’ [Russia] try to stop the war that has been waged against us”. You can clearly hear the audience laughing at him.”

Iuliia Mendel, former spokeswoman for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, tweeted: “Lavrov is doing an international tour with his standup. The audience laughs sincerely.”

Carl Bildt, the co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations, tweeted that “Lavrov’s quite remarkable performance, which badly backfired, is considered one of the highlights of the Raisina Dialogue 2023.” news week has asked the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.

The incident came as the leader of the Wagner mercenary group fighting for Moscow, Yevgeny Prigozhin, claimed his troops had surrounded Bakhmut, the city of Donetsk that has been at the center of a bitter struggle since August. Though Kyiv insists it still has control of the city in eastern Ukraine, there are reports that Ukraine may stage a withdrawal.

Meanwhile, the US has announced another $400 million in military aid to Ukraine, including high-precision M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (Himars) artillery rockets and howitzers.

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