Lavrov tells France ignoring Russian demands is bad for stability

MOSCOW / PARIS (Reuters) – Russia’s top diplomat told France’s foreign minister by phone on Saturday that ignoring Moscow’s security demands was bad for stability in Europe and elsewhere, Russia’s foreign ministry said, as tensions surged in eastern Ukraine.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s veteran foreign minister, told France’s Jean-Yves Le Drian that all countries should comply with their commitments to ensure the principle of “equal and indivisible security”, the ministry said.

“Ignoring Russia’s legitimate rights in this area adversely affects stability not only on the European continent, but also in the world,” it said in a statement.

For his part, Le Drian said that dialogue was still possible, and that France was committed to working for it, but it was up to Russia to make that choice.

“Today, Russia’s actions and words are out of step,” Le Drian’s ministry said in a statement.

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova in Moscow and Juliette Jabkhiro in Paris; Editing by Tom Balmforth and Christina Fincher)

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