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Italy’s ex-prime minister: Russia-EU relations have never hit such a low point

October 20, 2016, 15:44 UTC+3 VERONA
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© AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

VERONA, October 20. /TASS/. Moscow and Brussels need to maintain political and economic dialogue at the moment, former Italian Prime Minister, former President of the European Commission, prominent economist Romano Prodi said addressing the fifth Eurasian Forum in the Italian city of Verona.

"The relations between Russia and the EU have never hit such a low point. The process of distancing has become systematic. There is a strong need for political and economic dialogue," Prodi stressed.

He pointed out that the sanctions policy had affected not only Russia but also the entire Eurasian region. "EU exports to Belarus, Kazakhstan and other countries have plunged. From 2013 to 2016, the EU’s annual exports to the Eurasian countries dropped from $250 bln to $84 bln, bearing in mind that Eurasia is our third biggest partner after the US and China," Prodi noted.

According to him, nevertheless, there is always an opportunity to maintain dialogue and come to terms. In particular, Prodi proposed to hold a ‘reconnaissance’ conference in order to assess the current state of relations and determine conditions for restarting dialogue.

"We can work on an economic mechanism that will help overcome political hurdles. Dialogue is possible even taking into account all the current problems. I am still confident that Russia and the EU depend on one another," the Italian politician concluded.

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