Any sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia over the turmoil in Ukraine could “boomerang” on Washington, the Kremlin warned on Saturday.
“Hasty and rash steps that might have a negative effect on the Russian-US relations ... might have boomerang impact on the United States,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a phone call on Friday, the Itar-Tass news agency reported, quoting the Foreign Ministry.
The State Department said the conversation was aimed at getting Russia and Ukraine’s new, pro-European government at the same table for talks.
Moscow does not recognize the leadership in Kiev, which ousted president Viktor Yanukovych last month after three months of protests.
The U.S. and European Union have threatened sanctions against Moscow over the military standoff in the strategic Crimean peninsula, and are urging Russia to pull back its forces in the region and allow in international observers and human rights monitors.
Moscow, which maintains a Black Sea naval base on the peninsula, says it is acting to protect ethnic Russians, who make up some 60 per cent of Crimea.
In Beijing, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday that China’s ties with its neighbour were in their “best period in history” and reiterated that his government opposed sanctions against Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has led China’s Communist Party since November 2012, have developed a “deep friendship,” Mr. Wang said.
The crisis in Ukraine was “regrettable” but has a “complex” historical background, he told reporters.
“It is regrettable that the situation in Ukraine has come to what it is today, yet it is not by accident that the situation has reached this point,” Mr. Wang said, adding that all sides should work to resolve the crisis through dialogue.