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Foreign minister to meet Russian counterpart in Paris

Mogherini says Wednesday session keeps dialogue open with Moscow

04 March, 15:50
Foreign minister to meet Russian counterpart in Paris (see related) (ANSA) - Rome, March 4 - Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said Tuesday that she would meet with her Russian counterpart in Paris to "keep open...the path of dialogue and diplomacy," over the crisis in Ukraine.

Mogherini told a joint session of the defence and foreign affairs committees of the House and the Senate that she had spoken with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to arrange Wednesday's meeting. "The goal is to keep open until the last possible moment the path of dialogue and diplomacy," she said.

Mogherini also told the committees that Europe must reiterate to the new government in Kiev the importance of respect for minorities and avoidance of "overreacting" to Russian provocation.

Kiev must also act quickly to implement economic and institutional reforms to boost the democratic legitimacy of the new government there, she added.

Lavrov said Monday that the use of Russia's troops in Crimea was necessary to protect Russian nationals there during the crisis in Ukraine.