This is unlikely to happen to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov too often: when he once again blamed the West for the war in Ukraine at a conference in the Indian capital New Delhi on Friday, he was interrupted by laughter from the audience.
Lavrov responded to a question about his country's energy policy: "You know, the war we are trying to end and that was triggered against us, in which Ukraine was used..."
After a brief pause, caused by laughter from the auditorium, he added haltingly that (the war) had influenced Russian politics, including energy policy. Russia will never again rely on partners in the West. Rather, they want reliable partners in energy policy, India and China are certainly among them.
It was noteworthy that Lavrov referred to the war as such. So far, the Kremlin has avoided this and speaks of a "special military operation".
At the end of the 30-minute conversation at the Raisina conference, broadcast by the news website Firstpost, the moderator said goodbye to Lavrov and asked him if he could promise that the next conversation would take place in less dangerous times. "The Americans will certainly suggest you some questions that you can use," Lavrov said, standing up, smiling and leaving the stage with a laugh. The multilateral conference on geopolitics and economics, hosted by a think tank and the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is held annually in New Delhi.
In the social networks, the laughter on Lavrov's appearance triggered a great echo. Lavrov is becoming a joke figure, the world power is simply laughed at, were various reactions.
India has close economic and military ties with Russia and wants to remain neutral. Much of the equipment of the Indian armed forces comes from Russia. Most recently, the South Asian country with the second largest population after China abstained in the UN General Assembly in a vote for a resolution on the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The resolution calls for peace and Moscow's withdrawal.