Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev followed his Belarussian counterpart to Ukraine on Monday as Moscow`s old allies built bridges to Europe while Russia`s financial crisis and diplomatic isolation grew.
Russia`s President Vladimir Putin and his French, German and Ukrainian counterparts agreed in a phone call early Wednesday that they wanted talks between Kiev, Moscow and rebels controlling parts of eastern Ukraine to resume as soon as possible.
The Ukrainian army on Saturday reported 11 attacks against its positions in the east where a ceasefire is tentatively holding and said a drone was spotted over Mariupol, the last major eastern town under its control.
Russia will take counter measures if Washington imposes new sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis, Russia`s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, according to an Interfax news agency report published on Saturday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated on Friday Moscow`s calls to convene as soon as possible another round of peace talks on the conflict in east Ukraine`s Donbass region, TASS news agency reported.
President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday hosted Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem in his first meeting with a top envoy from Damascus since the old Moscow ally plunged into civil war more than three years ago.
President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was not and would not be isolated on the international scene and dismissed the risk of "catastrophic consequences" for the Russian economy of Western sanctions combined with a oil price fall and rouble slide.