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YALTA, April 20. /TASS/. The sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union in 2014 benefit neither Russia nor the EU, member of the Regional Council of Italy’s Veneto region from the Northern League party, Stefano Valdegamberi, told reporters on the sidelines of the Yalta International Economic Forum on Thursday.
He noted that virtually all of Italy is represented at the forum. "There are parliamentarians, representatives of the regions, regional lawmakers and an impressive number of representatives of Italian businesses here," he explained. "These are people who have a firm intention to find partners in Russia in various sectors."
"Our presence is a political step at the level of Europe," the Italian politician went on to say. "It shows that we do not share some political trends, which exist today."
"Veneto is in favor of removing all anti-Russian sanctions and making sure that Crimea is free," he emphasized. "The anti-Russian sanctions benefit neither Russia nor the European Union."
The European Union has chosen the erroneous policy by imposing sanctions against Russia, Europe has no future without close cooperation with Russia, Valdegamberi said.
He emphasized that the current EU policy creates barriers. "On the other hand, we are in favor of the European projects that can unite peoples, including the Russian people, create a huge market that would extend to Vladivostok without any barriers and obstacles," he said. "That’s the objective we set for ourselves."
"There are people who want to build new walls between Russia and Europe," the Italian parliamentarian noted. "However, we want to break down the walls and establish trade and mutually advantageous relations for everyone."
"We want to fully change the erroneous policy towards Russia chosen by the European Union," he underscored. "There are many entrepreneurs in Italy who are extremely interested in restoring relations with Crimean businesspeople in spite of the sanctions."
"We believe the European Union has no future without close relations with Russia," Valdegamberi added.
The third Yalta International Economic Forum is held on April 20-22. It is expected to bring together no less than 1,500 people. TASS is the forum’s strategic media partner.