13:46 GMT17 February 2020
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    Italy’s former Prime Minister and European Commission ex-president Romano Prodi said that sanctions are effective not only when they are imposed but also when they are lifted.

    ROME (Sputnik) — Italy’s former Prime Minister and European Commission ex-president Romano Prodi has called on Europe to scrap sanctions against Russia to improve the political climate.

    "Sanctions are effective not only when they are imposed but also when they are lifted. Lifting them from Russia now can prove to be a more efficient policy," Prodi told the Corriere della Sera newspaper on Thursday.

    Prodi, who headed EU’s main executive body between 1999 and 2004, stressed that Europe’s long-term relations with Russia were at stake, adding they were mutually beneficial.

    Relations between Russia and Europe went downhill in 2014, when Brussels accused Moscow of fueling the Ukrainian crisis and imposed several rounds of sanctions on it. The restrictions targeted Russia's banking, energy and defense sectors.

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    sanctions, European Union, Romano Prodi, Italy, Russia
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