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    Russian troops not in control of Crimea, says Lavrov

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    euronews (in English)

    by euronews (in English)

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    Ukraine’s government is illegitimate and Russian troops are not in control of Crimea, Russia’s Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has insisted.

    Speaking in Madrid, Lavrov again condemned the removal of President Victor Yanukovych and repeated Moscow’s assertion that armed men deployed to Ukraine’s Crimea region, were not Russian but ‘‘self-defence forces.’‘

    ‘‘There was an armed seizure of power and a legitimately elected president was overthrown. This was a violation of Ukraine’s constitution. If the international community is encouraging those, who are now attempting to rule our great, historical neighbour, then they should realise this sets a very bad and contagious example,’‘ Lavrov said.

    Lavrov’s words came ahead of crunch talks in Paris with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

    Despite sharp differences, both Washington and Moscow shows signs of prefering dialogue.

    Ukraine’s foreign minister, who is in the French capital, also called for a diplomatic way out of the crisis.

    “It’s quite clear that what happened in Ukraine was an agression from Russian side and the Crimea. But now we have to think about a way out, and way out not only about Ukraine, but way out and future of Russia, how Russia will deal what Russia did to Ukraine.”

    Despite efforts to bring the Ukrainians and Russians together, for the moment, it is thought unlikely Ukraine’s top diplomat will hold face to face talks with Lavrov.