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Italian PM says extra sanctions against Russia over Syria are pointless

October 21, 2016, 8:21 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

The Italian premier stresses the necessity to reach a true ceasefire and the process of the political transition in Syria

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Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

© Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

BRUSSELS, October 21. /TASS/. It is pointless to impose extra sanctions against Russia due to its actions in Syria, and will not help reconcile the conflict in the country, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said at the end of the first day of the EU summit in Brussels.

"Russia was discussed in two different contexts at the summit. First, in relation to Ukraine against the background of yesterday’s ‘Normandy Four’ meeting (Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of Ukraine Pyotr Poroshenko, President of France Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel). But the sanctions issue related to the Ukrainian problem will be raised after the termination of the present restrictive measures in January 2017. Secondly, in relation to the Syrian situation," he said.

According to Renzi, the EU leaders had developed a final document, which stresses the necessity to reach a true ceasefire and the process of the political transition. "We’re all pretty much concerned. But extra sanctions seem pointless to me," he said, adding that this position has been earlier agreed at the meeting of the EU foreign ministers. "I think that the formulations of the final document make it clear that it is necessary to put pressure and assume all measures in order to reach an agreement on Syria. But new sanctions against Russia will not help solve this problem," he said.

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