HAVANA, April 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. and European Union (EU) sanctions against Russia for its role in the Ukraine crisis defy " all common sense," visiting Russian Foreign Minister Serguei Lavrov said here Tuesday.
Lavrov, who is here to meet with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez, said, "we reject any type of sanctions, especially those sanctions adopted by the United States and the European Union against all common sense, regarding events in the Ukraine."
The meeting between the top diplomats marked the beginning of Lavrov's swing through Latin America, which includes stops in Nicaragua, Peru and Chile.
As part of the sanctions, the EU said Monday it was banning 15 high-level Russian and Ukrainian officials from traveling to the bloc and imposing a freeze on their properties and businesses there, while Washington increased sanctions on companies.
Lavrov, who arrived in Cuba Monday, said the crisis in Ukraine was generated by the Western-backed February coup against the democratically-elected president Viktor Yanukovich.
"We call for the fastest resolution of the crisis, as well as a national dialogue that takes into account the opinions of all regions of the country. It is the only possible path," said Lavrov.
Lavrov also thanked Cuba for its support during the crisis, which has seen the highest degree of tension between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.
Rodriguez said Cuba "vehemently rejects the imposition of sanctions on Russia, knowing that those who impose them are the same governments that have launched wars of conquest, that have intervened in the internal affairs of independent countries and that provoke the instability of governments that do not submit to dominating interests."
"Cuba considers the attempt to expand NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) to the borders of the Russian Federation a grave threat to international peace and security," Rodriguez added.
Lavrov is also expected to meet later with Cuban leader Raul Castro.
The Russian envoy said that during his visit he will be reviewing the cooperation accords between Moscow and Havana, especially in the area of economy and trade, energy, pharmaceuticals and infrastructure.