12:28 GMT +311 December 2019
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    Italian Foreign Affairs minister Paolo Gentiloni

    Rome Supports Cooperation With Moscow Despite EU Anti-Russia Sanctions

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    Italian Foreign Minister said that Italian-Russian cooperation remains important despite the situation complicated by the European Union's anti-Russia sanctions.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Italian-Russian cooperation remains important despite the situation complicated by the European Union's anti-Russia sanctions, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni told RIA Novosti.

    "Our partnership remains important even in such a difficult period as the present one," Gentiloni said, adding that Italy did not give up on dialogue with Russia even amid the Western sanctions.

    Relations between the West and Moscow have changed, but this fact should not affect cooperation in areas untouched by sanctions, the minister noted.

    Gentiloni will arrive in Moscow on Monday to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The ministers are expected to discuss the development of Russian-Italian cooperation and Russia’s relations with the European Union and NATO, as well as other foreign policy issues.

    The EU, the United Stated and their allies introduced several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia in 2014 over Moscow's alleged involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

    Russia denies having to do anything the Ukrainian crisis and views the sanctions as counterproductive.

    Russia plays an essential role in negotiations on such important international issues as Iran's disputed nuclear program and crises in Libya and Syria, Paolo Gentiloni said.

    "We have always affirmed that Russia is an essential companion for the most delicate political dossiers that draw attention of the entire international community," Gentiloni said.

    Russia brings in a reasonable and substantial contribution to resolution of conflicts in Syria and Libya, as well as negotiations on Iran's contested nuclear program, the minister added.

    Gentiloni will arrive in Moscow on Monday for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    The ministers are expected to discuss the development of Russian-Italian cooperation and Russia's relations with the European Union and NATO, as well as other foreign policy issues.

    The only way to settle the Ukrainian conflict is by fully observing the Minsk Agreements, Italian Foreign Minister said.

    "Normalization in Ukraine goes through the full and comprehensive implementation of the Minsk Agreements," Gentiloni said.

    Italy strongly supports reconciliation talks, the foreign minister stressed, adding that such instability as the conflict in eastern Ukraine meets neither Europe's, nor Russia's interests.

    Related:

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    Italy Could Help Restore Trust Between Russia, EU: Russian Ambassador
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    cooperation, European Union, Paolo Gentiloni, Russia, Italy
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