The EU should focus on developing a strategy for relations with Russia for the medium and long term instead of thinking about the present day problems, including sanctions, Renzi said.
"Regardless of the sanctions, the question of what kind of Europe we want to build, [as well as] how we intend to build our relations with Russia in terms of a strategy, for example, on [the fight against] terrorism and on dealing with a severe economic crisis in countries tied to Russia, such as Ukraine, should be the main issue of our discussions."
"Our turnover with Russia is about 25 billion [dollars]: we buy on 16 billion and sell on 9 billion. The sanctions have affected not the most substantial part of our turnover, but they [anti-Russian sanctions] have put some industrial segments in jeopardy, for example those related to shoemaking, [and also] had an impact on a number of existing agreements," the Italian prime minister said.
Renzi added that the sanctions against Russia had affected about 160 million out of 9 billion Italian exports.