08:20 GMT01 March 2021
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    Despite the Western sanctions, President Trump’s policy in Syria and President Assad’s uncertain future, Italy has reaffirmed its desire to engage in a mutually beneficial dialogue with Russia.

    During Italian President Sergio Mattarella’s recent visit to Moscow, President Putin called Italy a trusty partner and held out hope that the talks with his Italian counterpart would become a new beginning in relations between the two countries.

    Sputnik Italy asked Orietta Moscatelli, the head of Askanews agency’s international news desk, to say a few worlds about the outcome of President Mattarella’s visit to Moscow.

    “[President Mattarella came to Moscow] to reiterate Italy’s desire to engage in a dialogue with Russia and underscore Russia’s important role in the settlement of the crisis in Syria and of other international problems,” Orietta Moscatelli said.

    Mentioning the recent visits to Moscow by Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti and Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano and a planned visit by Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, she said that Italy is holding out for a constructive dialogue with Russia.

    President Mattarella’s visit, which came at a time of uncertainty and tensions between Russia and the West, reflects Italy’s traditional desire to be on good terms with Moscow.

    “I see a great deal of interest in Italy and in Europe as a whole, in working together with Russia, and this was the unofficial message sent by the recent G7 summit in Lucca,” Moscatelli, said.

    She added that this desire was also evident Wednesday during a meeting between US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Russian colleague Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

    “That was a tense meeting, but the first thing Tillerson said was that he hoped to find a constructive approach and establish a dialogue with Russia,” Orietta Moscatelli noted.

    Sergio Mattarella met with Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss the key issues of Russian-Italian relations with an emphasis on trade-economic, investment and cultural-humanitarian cooperation, as well as joint projects in the energy industry, transport and other areas.

    The sides also discussed the situation in Syria and Ukraine, as well as peace in the Middle East.

    Sergio Mattarella urged Vladimir Putin to use Russia's influence to enhance the cease-fire in Donbass.

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