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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.