US and European Union sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis are the result of the West's own weak policies, the Russian Foreign Minister has said.
Sergei Lavrov said Russia rejects sanctions "in any of our relationships, in particular those sanctions that were sponsored by the United States and the European Union, which are against all common sense, regarding the events in Ukraine".
Sergei Lavrov has told US Secretary of State John Kerry that Ukraine must stop its military operation in the country's southeastern as part of efforts to defuse the crisis, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
In a telephone conversation with Kerry, Lavrov also urged the US to use its influence to secure the release of what the ministry called leaders of the "protest movement" in the region - a reference to pro-Russian separatists.
Kerry and Lavrov discussed efforts to resolve the situation involving detained OSCE military observers, the ministry said, adding that the controlling parts of southeastern Ukraine had not been properly informed of the observers' plans to travel there.
Russia and the United States exchanged strong-worded warnings over armed actions in Ukraine today.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that any armed action by Ukrainian authorities in the east of the country would undermine efforts at a diplomatic solution to the conflict.
Mr Lavrov made the warning during a call from US Secretary of State John Kerry, who in turn expressed concern about Russia's role in "inciting" trouble in eastern Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The White House warned Russia against further military action in Ukraine after armed separatists seized government offices in the eastern city of Slaviansk today, saying the situation was reminiscent of what recently happened in Crimea.
Mr Lavrov said Ukraine was "demonstrating its inability to take responsibility for the fate of the country."He said that any use of force against Russian speakers in the east of Ukraine "would undermine the potential for cooperation."
Russia's foreign minister said Western sanctions have been "unpleasant" but not too painful overall.
In an interview due to air on Russia's Channel One today, Sergei Lavrov said: "The sanctions ... I don't want to say that they are laughable, I don't want to say that we don't care.
"They are unpleasant. But the fact they try to take those sanctions on a more personal level and present them as directed at certain people personally - it is clearly a desire to take revenge, we can see it with the naked eye".
Mr Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry are scheduled to meet in Paris later today.
The legal process required to make Crimea part of Russia will be completed this week, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, two days after President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty to bring the Ukrainian region into Russia.
"Practical steps are being taken to implement the agreements on the entry of Crimea and (the Crimean port city of) Sevastopol into Russia," Itar-Tass news agency quoted Lavrov as saying.