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EU needs stable relations with Russia — Italian minister

November 19, 2014, 20:22 UTC+3 ROME
Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said the anti-Russian sanctions the West has been imposing since March have a considerable impact on Russia
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Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni

Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni

© AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca

ROME, November 19. /TASS/. EU needs steady rather than conflict-ridden relations with Russia, Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Wednesday as he addressed reporters covering the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition held under the auspices of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

He said it was a matter of common concern to tap a political solution to the current tensions in the EU-Russia relationship and the purpose of it was bigger than avoiding aftermaths in the economy. Relations between the EU and Russia, its largest neighbor, should be steady rather than ridden with conflicts, he said.

Gentiloni said the anti-Russian sanctions the West has been imposing since March have a considerable impact on Russia but they might also have a deplorable impact on Europe, although he called them a necessary measure.

Europe must uphold a firm stance and the sanctions are to demonstrate this firmness, Gentiloni said adding it looked like they have reached this objective. Still it is important to continue dialogue with Russia in a search for political settlement.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier that sanctions and confrontation were not Russia’s choice.

“We’re not going to plead Western countries to lift them although we hear regular hints from them suggesting, let us coordinate certain criteria,” he said.

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