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Italy, Russia facing new dimension in bilateral collaboration - premier

November 24, 2013, 20:24 UTC+3 ROME
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ROME, November 24, 20:03 /ITAR-TASS/. Coinciding presidency of Italy in the EU and Russia in the G8, the rotating terms of which will fall on next year, impart a new dimension to bilateral collaboration and will enable the two nations to make tangible contribution to international policies, Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta said Sunday in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass, the Moscow-based Rossiya’24 channel and the Rossiyskaya Gazeta government daily.

“I think cooperation between Russia that will preside in the G8 and Italy, which will have a term of presidency in the EU will be especially fruitful and will be taken to a new dimension exactly next year, especially if one considers its highest level already now,” Letta said.

He praised the results of Russia’s presidency in the G20 and the summit that was held in St Petersburg last summer.

Italy believes that the importance of eliminating the stereotypes and apprehensions still overshadowing the relationship between Russia and the EU will be one of Italy’s priorities as the country holding a term of rotating presidency of the EU.

“We can see this today around the so-called Eastern Partnership, as well as around relations with Ukraine and other countries,” Letta said.

“While standing at the head of the EU, we’d like to work on the ways of bridging these differences and superstitions because we are convinced that cooperation in politics and the dialogue in the energy sector and the economy where an ever-increasing rapprochement between the two sides is evident meets the interests of both EU and Russia,” he said.

Letta pointed out an irreplaceable and vital role Russia is playing in the resolution of numerous international crises - in Libya and Northern Africa as a whole, as well as in Syria and the Middle East.

“Permanent instability in many parts of the globe poses a huge problem for all of us,” he said. “Chaos in Libya has turned into a factor of instability for Italy that brings forth extremely complicated problems.”

“I’m sure Russia and the EU might have common tasks in that sphere and I am confident Italy at the head of the EU and Russia at the head of the G8 will be able to do really much,” Letta said.

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