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ROME, May 25. /TASS/. NATO and the United States shoulder huge responsibility when they announce military buildup close to the Russian borders, Italian parliamentarian Alessandro Pagano said on Wednesday.
"The reaction of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who stated readiness to respond to ‘threats’ is inevitable and more than rightful," said Pagano, the head of the inter-parliamentary friendship group Italy-Russia.
"Obama pursues a contradictory policy: while the US and NATO are withdrawing from Afghanistan and the Mediterranean region, military presence is growing on Russian borders. What is this if not a provocation?" the parliamentarian asked.
He also noted that European sanctions against Russia were harming Italian companies.
For incorporation of Crimea after the 2014 coup in Ukraine, Russia came under sanctions on the part of the United States and many European countries. The restrictive measures were soon intensified following Western and Ukrainian claims that Russia supported militias in self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine’s southeast and was involved in destabilization of Ukraine.
As countermeasures, Russia imposed on August 7, 2014 restrictions on food imports from the countries that had imposed anti-Russian sanctions: the US, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway.
A one-year ban also included imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway.
Later, Russia extended its food embargo until August 2016 inclusive.