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Russian FM rules out ‘stupid things’ over Ukraine

April 30, 2014

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Russia won’t rush into doing “stupid things” in response to U.S. and European Union pressure over the situation in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday.

He said the series of sanctions imposed by the West over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and unrest in Ukraine’s eastern region “are totally without sense.”

Despite that, Lavrov said, “We are not going to rush into stupid things. We want to give our partners the possibility to calm themselves.”

But he cautioned that Russia could change its stance if Western nations kept trying to punish it.

“If their actions are going to continue, if they are going to use economic levers, in that case we are going to have to study a different approach,” he said.

Lavrov said the most important thing is for Russia, the United States and the European Union to ensure there is dialogue between Ukraine’s government and those who oppose it, particularly in areas where ethnic Russians are a large presence.

The EU has imposed economic sanctions on 48 Russians or pro-Russian Ukrainians. The U.S. has announced sanctions against some Russian government officials and 17 companies with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Lavrov spoke after a meeting with Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz as part of a visit to Latin America.

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