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MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS/. Western sanctions against Russia have hit Italy’s business, ambassador to Moscow Cesare Maria Ragaglini said on Friday.
He told Rossiya-24 television news channel that trade turnover between Russia and Italy fell 17% last year. "The climate that has been generated by sanctions has an adverse effect," he said. "This is firstly the situation of uncertainty in which Italian entrepreneurs have to live now."
The European Union and the United States imposed economic sanctions on Russia in late July, targeting the Russian energy, banking and defence sectors as punishment for Moscow over events in eastern Ukraine.
In retaliation, Moscow has banned most Western food imports of meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables worth $9 billion a year.
The Italian diplomat noted the special relationship that exists between Russia and Italy. "Italian entrepreneurs have always looked with interest at Russia," he said.
"Even in periods of severe economic crisis, they stayed in this country and continued to cooperate," Ragaglini added, noting that Italian business would further invest in the Russian economy.