MOSCOW (Reuters) – Mali may ask Russia for “help” given its current security situation, Mali’s foreign minister said on Thursday during a trip to Moscow.

“We are now in such a difficult situation that we may turn to our friend (Russia) for help,” minister Abdoulaye Diop told a news conference in French through a Russian interpreter. “The very existence of the Malian state is under threat.”

(Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Alison Williams)