MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Rixi said that during the October 13-16 visit to Crimea, a delegation of Italian businessmen and officials would discuss with local authorities the possibilities to circumvent the sanctions for joint business projects.
"It is not just about lifting the anti-Russian sanctions, but about restoring overall friendly relations with Russia. Europe is not complete without Russia, it is impossible to sever ties with such a major player on the continent," Rixi told RT broadcaster.
The relationship between Russia and the European Union soured after Crimean peninsula seceded from Ukraine and reunified with Russia as more than 96 percent of local voters supported the move in a referendum in March 2014. The Western countries, including the EU members, have not recognized the legitimacy of the vote, imposing several rounds of sanctions on Russia.