19:18 GMT +318 March 2019
Listen Live
    Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte at the NATO summit of heads of state and government, Brussels

    Italian PM Conte: Open Dialogue With Moscow 'Essential', Sanctions Not End Goal

    © Sputnik / Alexey Vitvitsky
    Europe
    Get short URL
    1140

    GENOA (Italy) (Sputnik) - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte underscored the need to have an open dialogue with Moscow on Friday and reiterated that the anti-Russia sanctions cannot be an aim per se.

    "The point is that the sanctions cannot be a final objective, they can only be the means. Maintaining dialogue with Russia is essential and also becomes necessary for us, because we have an intensive commercial exchange, and just like other countries protect their interests, we need to protect our economic interests related to national interests, " Conte said at the Limes' Festival in Genoa titled "A Strategy for Italy," and devoted to the role of the country in Europe and the world.

    READ MORE: Putin Accepts Invitation to Visit Italy, Date to Be Coordinated — Russian Envoy

    The prime minister went on to note that Italy has a "traditional" tendency for dialogue with Russia.

    "With Moscow we are developing what is our traditional inclination to dialogue … We stay loyal to our principles, our values, follow our strategies, but also try to always have an open dialogue," Conte added.

    The new Italian government, which was formed in late May by a coalition comprising the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and the euroskeptic Lega party, has consistently called for the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions.

    Relations between Moscow and the West deteriorated in 2014 after Crimea’s reunification with Russia and amid the crisis in eastern Ukraine. The European Union and the United States imposed restrictive measures against Russian individuals, companies and economic sectors. Moscow has responded by imposing restrictions on food imports from the countries that supported the sanctions.

    Related:

    Conte Calls Anti-Russian Sanctions an 'Instrument That Should Be Left Behind'
    'Wrong': Italy's PM Conte Slams Macron for Claiming Italy in Crisis With EU
    Giuseppe Conte Sworn in as New Italian Prime Minister
    Tags:
    sanctions, Lega Party, Giuseppe Conte, Russia, Italy
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik