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Italian expert: Crimea’s accession to Russia no obstacle to international relations

March 18, 2014, 5:43 UTC+3 ROME
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ROME, March 18, /ITAR-TASS/. The returns from last Sunday's Crimean referendum are no tragedy despite the Western media uproar, Italian political writer, specialist in international relations and Mediterranean affairs Mario Arpino told Itar-Tass on Monday.

Strategically, Crimea’s accession to Russia changes nothing, the pundit believes. Crimea has always been part of Russia. Black Sea fleet bases located there are leased till the middle of the century, and Arpino, a member of the Italian Institute of International Affairs’ governing board, sees no tragedy in what is now happening there. Meanwhile, Kiev’s actions contravened UN law, he told Itar-Tass.

In an article published in Foreign Affairs online journal he points out that sanctions against Russia would benefit neither Europe tied with Russia by deep cultural and tight economic links, nor NATO cooperating with Russia in a number of major operations like guarding ships with Syrian chemical weapons aboard. All sides - Europe, USA and Russia - had better maintain dialogue; NATO will not launch any military actions as it needs to act cautiously in order to leave room for cooperation with Moscow in the future, believes the expert.

After the Kosovo War Russia temporarily ceased participation in the Permanent Joint Council, which preceded the Russia-NATO Council, in defiance, so prudence is needed to prevent this scenario from having a rerun, Arpino writes in his article. Moreover, Arpino points to the fact that Russia started no military operations in Crimea, whereas the US began flexing muscles by sending in aircraft ostensibly to “strengthen air security”.

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