Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for ending bloodshed in Gaza as soon as possible.

Lavrov had a telephone conversation with his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Gaza and international efforts to ensure a ceasefire.

The Russian minister expressed “deep concern about the continuing growth of the number of victims of armed confrontation”, the Foreign Ministry said.

Livni stated Israel’s approaches and said Israel was taking steps to minimise grave humanitarian consequences of hostilities in Gaza.

Lavrov “firmly called for ending the bloodshed and for ensuring full implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1860, and noted the importance of the efforts being taken by Egypt”.

The minister stressed the importance Russia attaches to the security of its citizens in the conflict zone.