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Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov: West trying to 'secure regime change'

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov panned Western sanctions on Moscow during a Friday meeting with the advisory Foreign and Defense Policy Council, Reuters reports.

"As for the concept behind the use of coercive measures, the West is making clear it does not want to force Russia to change policy but wants to secure regime change," Lavrov said.

The foreign minister's comments come a day after Vice President Joe Biden called Russia's behavior in Ukraine "unacceptable," during a visit to Kiev. Western sanctions have targeted Russia's largest banks and companies, and they have also imposed asset freezes on allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The sanctions are in response to Russia's presence in eastern Ukraine, where separatist militants continue to fight Ukrainian forces, despite a Sept. 5 ceasefire deal.