Efficient mediation needed to solve Ukrainian crisis: Russian FM

MOSCOW, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian crisis could not be resolved without efficient mediation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

"We cannot get things moving by pleas only," Lavrov told reporters following his talks with Venezuelan counterpart Elias Jaua.

"Some more efficient mediation efforts are needed to stop the violence, including first of all a punitive operation," he said, referring to the Ukraine government's "anti-terrorism" operation in the country's southeast.

Lavrov urged the Ukrainian sides to start negotiating with due mutual respect.

He also said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon could be more insistent in pursuing an investigation of the Odessa tragedy, where dozens of people died in clashes between pro-government paramilitary groups and anti-government protesters in early May.

Lavrov also noted the West had failed to isolate Russia on the international arena.

"It was enough to attend the St. Petersburg economic forum to understand whether or not Russia has been isolated," the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

Lavrov said the international forum was attended by a "huge number" of foreign guests, who experienced a "combination of a highly businesslike mood and sense of humor."

Similarly, he said Moscow opposed foreign interference in Venezuelan domestic affairs and sanctions against the country's authorities.

"All issues must be resolved in a constitutional field without any outside involvement, including sanctions or threat of sanctions," Lavrov said.