HELSINKI, June 9 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainians should have their own choices freely without interference from the outside, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
He made the remarks at a press conference held on Monday evening after meeting with his Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioja in Turku, a southern city of Finland.
Concerning the situation in Ukraine, Tuomioja said that Finland wants Ukraine to live peacefully like any other country, and the Ukrainian people should have rights to choose their own way without foreign intervention.
Lavrov agreed with Tuomioja and said that the Ukrainians should have their own choices freely without interference from the outside. He criticized that the West has interfered what happened in Ukraine in the past and during the current crisis.
Lavrov said that the Russian position on the situation in Ukraine will be based on the Geneva accord and the OSCE road map, adding that on this basis, Ukraine's internal dialogue will be developed.
The two ministers also discussed about European Union (EU)-Russian relations.
The Finnish foreign minister said that "dialogue and transparency are needed between the EU and Russia," even though there might be different views on various matters.
At the invitation of Tuomioja, the Russian foreign minister is making an official visit to Finland from June 9 to 10. Lavrov is also due to meet Finnish President Sauli Niinisto on Tuesday.
Lavrov's two-day official visit coincided with the foreign and security policy conference held by Niinisto on June 8 to 9 in Kultaranta, an official summer residence of the president.
The conference focused on the ongoing domestic debate over NATO membership as well as other forms of security cooperation.
On this issue, the visiting Russian foreign minister warned against an enlargement of NATO, saying that "an artificial attempt to continue NATO expansion" "is counterproductive and contradicts the obligations which NATO country members have taken upon themselves."