Tehran, YJC. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the country has absolutely no intention of crossing into Ukraine.
"We have absolutely no intention and no interests in crossing the Ukrainian border,” Lavrov told Russian state television in an interview on Saturday.
"We (Russia and the West) are getting closer in our positions,” he added, saying recent contacts had shown the outlines of a "possible joint initiative which could be presented to our Ukrainian colleagues.”
The comments came after Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned US President Barack Obama to discuss a possible diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine.
During the call, Putin suggested examining possible steps the global community could take to help stabilize the situation, the Kremlin said in a statement.
The Ukraine crisis began last November after the country’s then-President Viktor Yanukovych refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with neighboring Russia.
The refusal triggered months of unrest and clashes with the police.
Tensions between the Western powers and Moscow heightened after Crimea declared independence from Ukraine and formally applied to become part of the Russian Federation following a referendum on March 16, in which nearly 97 percent of voters in Crimea said yes to reunion with Russia.
On March 21, President Putin signed into law documents that officially made the Black Sea peninsula part of the Russian territory despite condemnation from the West and the new Ukrainian government.
The move sparked angry reactions from the United States and the European Union, both imposing punitive measures against a number of Russian officials and authorities in Crimea.