Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Tuesday in the presence of Russia's foreign minister defended the territorial integrity of Ukraine and pushed for a negotiated political solution to the crisis in the Eastern European country.
Rajoy received Sergei Lavrov at his official residence at Moncloa Palace in Madrid.
Given the recent developments in Ukraine and Russian moves in response, Rajoy emphasized the need for stability and a reduction of tension in the region, Spanish government sources told Efe.
After meeting with the prime minister, Lavrov was received by King Juan Carlos, with whom he discussed the crisis in Ukraine.
Lavrov, who is making a tour of several European countries, met upon his arrival in Madrid with the European Union's top diplomat, Catherine Ashton.
Neither of the two officials talked with the press after their meeting, although Ashton's spokespeople commented via Twitter that she and Lavrov had held an "interesting" conversation.
Ashton's meeting was included at the last minute on the agenda of Lavrov's previously scheduled visit to Madrid.
The Russian is scheduled to meet on Wednesday with his Spanish counterpart, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, and later in the day to travel to Paris.
Moscow deployed its forces last week in the Crimean Peninsula, a majority Russian-speaking region of Ukraine, claiming it was protecting ethnic Russians and Russia's interests in the area.
Russia's Black Sea Fleet is based in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol, which has been the home of the naval force since the 18th century.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Tuesday broke the silence he had kept since the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to say that, at present, he will not send troops to the eastern portions of Ukraine, where there is a strong presence of Russian speakers, but he reserved the right to do so "in an extreme case."
Russia does not plan to annex Crimea, an autonomous Ukrainian republic, Putin said, while denouncing the takeover of Ukraine's government as "an unconstitutional coup" and an armed insurrection. EFE