NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Russia must not wage war with impunity, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and his Indian, Japanese, and Australian counterparts said in a statement on Friday after a meeting in New Delhi.
The so-called Quad group also said the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine was “unacceptable.”
Late last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended a landmark nuclear arms control treaty and threatened to resume nuclear tests.
“If we allow Russia to do what it did in Ukraine with impunity, it sends a message to future attackers everywhere that they can get away with it too,” Blinken said at a forum in India.
Blinken met his Quad counterparts on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in New Delhi, where ministers shared blame for the conflict.
The day before, Blinken met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in New Delhi for the first time since the start of the Ukraine conflict more than a year ago. During the brief meeting, a senior US official said that Blinken urged Moscow to end the war and lift its suspension of the new START nuclear deal.
Russian news agencies reported that the Russian Foreign Ministry said Lavrov and Blinken spoke for less than 10 minutes and did not enter into negotiations.
At the G20 meeting, the United States and its allies urged member nations to continue to pressure Russia to end the conflict. Still, the G20 could not agree to it due to opposition from Russia, which described its move as a “special.” joint declaration on some of China’s military and war operations.
On Friday, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called on the world community to work together. “Anyone abstaining in various regions needs to understand that we are facing something that is disrupting the possibility of a global consensus,” he said.
In their statement, the Quartet ministers also lashed out at China’s thin line, condemning moves that escalate tensions in the South China Sea and the “militarization” of disputed areas in the region.
China has denounced the Quad as a Cold War construct and a group that “targets other countries”. The group’s title is the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue Focusing on Strategic Issues in the Indo-Pacific Region.