Russian FM says Moscow's closer ties with Latin America are just that, not countermove to US

Russia's foreign minister has rejected allegations that Moscow was trying to develop closer ties with Latin American nations as a countermove to the United States amid the Ukrainian crisis.

Speaking after Tuesday's talks with his Salvadoran counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia's ties with Latin American countries have long historic roots and are based on common economic interests.

Asked whether Russia was trying to boost ties with Latin American countries in response to the U.S. building up ties with Ukraine and other ex-Soviet republics, Lavrov said "we aren't supporting the concept of backyards and aren't following that logic."

Ties between Russia and the West have plunged to post-Cold War lows following Moscow's annexation last year of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its support for a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine.