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Italy’s PM seeks to help improve EU-Russia relations

May 10, 2017, 23:58 UTC+3 ROME

Paolo Gentiloni is due to visit China and then Russia at the end of the week

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ROME, May 10. /TASS/. Rome should help Russia and Europe to improve relations, Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Wednesday.

Gentiloni is due to visit China and then Russia at the end of the week.

"In the foreseeable future, I will be meeting with Russian and Chinese leaders," he said. "I am planning to discuss the necessity of dialogue and solidarity, the main values for Italy. Our task is to bring those two major players closer to Europe."

The Italian prime minister, who was speaking at Italy’s’ embassy to the Holy See on the occasion of the 4,000th publication of La Civilt· Cattolica (Italian for Catholic Civilization) magazine, underlined the Vatican’s significant role in diplomacy.

"In times of the ‘piecemeal World War III’ (Pope Francis’s words about the world’s current state of affairs - TASS), Pope Francis offers his diplomacy of mercy from the point of view of a realist observer," Gentiloni said.

Earlier, Italy vowed to use the country’s G7 presidency for improving relations between the West and Russia locked in a spat after the Ukraine crisis and anti-Russian sanctions.

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