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Berlusconi: US steps vs. Russia in view of Ukraine events may bring cold war back

May 06, 2014, 13:22 UTC+3
Earlier, Berlusconi dubbed sanctions against Russia “counterproductive” and the suspension of the G8 format “erroneous”
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Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is pictured next to a screen showing Russian President Vladimir Putin during an interview with Rai 3

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is pictured next to a screen showing Russian President Vladimir Putin during an interview with Rai 3

© EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

I consider all decisions of Western diplomacy of the recent hours as narrow-minded and being at variance with a constructive spirit. Silvio Berlusconi Italian ex-prime minister on G7 leaders' suggestion to expel Russia from G8 over Crimea ROME, May 6. /ITAR-TASS/. The steps taken by the US towards Russia in connection with the situation in Ukraine pose a threat of bringing cold war back to life, Italy’s ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said in a radio interview aired on Tuesday.

“In the steps aimed against Russia, I can see the threat of bringing cold war back to life,” the politician said in response to a question about the tensions between Moscow and Washington.

Earlier, Berlusconi dubbed sanctions against Russia “counterproductive” and the suspension of the G8 format “erroneous”.

Europe calculates possible consequences of economic sanctions vs. Russia

Imposing economic sanctions against Russia may seriously hurt the European economy, according to Siim Kallas, interim European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs.

At a news conference on Monday devoted to the spring statistics forecast of the European Commission, Kallas said that they were thoroughly analyzing the possible consequences of imposing (trade and economic) sanctions on Russia. He noted that there were three possible scenarios, the worst of which envisioned serious losses to the European economy.

Nevertheless, the commissioner outlined that in case such sanctions against Russia are adopted, their impact on the economies of European countries would be unequal: some countries like Finland or Cyprus would be more exposed to negative effects, the others — to a lesser extent.

Italian businesses warn against sanctions

Italian entrepreneurs and travel agencies doing business with Russia have urged their government and the European Union to take emergency diplomatic measures to stop bloodshed in Ukraine.

A 43-signature letter says Europe must bring events under control through political initiative. “It is first of all in the interest of Europeans to maintain peace and stability on our continent,” the letter says.

“The Russian Federation is a great country, with which we all maintain friendly relations, business and trade ties, as well as developing cultural exchanges. Speaking about a further tightening of sanctions against Russia is anachronism in the present stage of history when the economy in general, and not only supplies of energy resources, human contacts and lots of mixed marriages, will turn these sanctions first of all against Europeans themselves,” the letter adds.

“It is high time to abandon this attempt to return to Cold War times and unveil a new phase of European policy, independent and united, capable of becoming the leading force of a peace process,” the letter says. “Diplomatic efforts and dialogue among the interested parties is the only way out of the situation.”

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