Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denounced Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine, saying they lack “all common sense.
“We reject sanctions in any form, in particular those sanctions adopted by the United States and the European Union,” he said at a meeting with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez.
The top Russian diplomat’s comments came as Moscow accused Washington of bringing back “Iron Curtain” policies in the showdown over the former Soviet republic and as the West slapped fresh penalties on key figures — including Russia’s military chief.
“We stand for the speedy settlement of this crisis,” said Lavrov, speaking in Havana through an interpreter.
“A national dialogue that takes into account the views of all regions of the country is the only way forward.”
Referring to the fall of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, Lavrov thanked Cuba for its “firm support for the Russian position on the Ukraine crisis generated by the coup supported by Western powers.”
He gained a resounding endorsement for Moscow’s stance from Rodriguez, who said Cuba “energetically rejects” the Western sanctions.
Moscow and Havana were close allies for 30 years during the Cold War, until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. After a rift under former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, the two resumed political and economic ties, as well as military cooperation.
While his meeting with Rodriguez was the only scheduled event of his stay on the communist island, Lavrov also met with Cuban President Raul Castro.
Castro welcomed “Comrade Sergei Lavrov … to a brotherly meeting where they exchanged ideas on world affairs,” the official Cuban news agency reported.