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Russia hopes new EP will overcome sanctions logic of contacts - envoy to Italy

Sergey Razov also dismissed the accusations against Russia of trying to meddle in the elections

ROME, May 26. /TASS/. Russia hopes that the new European Parliament will switch from the sanctions rhetoric to dialogue and building parliamentary partnership with Moscow, Russian Ambassador to Italy Sergey Razov said in an interview with Agenzia stampa italiana.

"We expect that in the new European Parliament the calls for dialogue and establishing parliamentary partnership will be heard instead of the sanctions rhetoric, which unfortunately has become ingrained in the vocabulary of certain European politicians. This will help abandon senseless confrontation, which has resulted in multibillion losses for European companies and losses on the Russian market," the diplomat said.

"The EU short-sighted stake placed on curtailing cooperation and passing anti-Russian sanctions dealt a serious blow to our cooperation," Razov said, noting that Russia and the EU are natural partners. "The potential of fostering our cooperation is rather great. Together we are nearly 650 mln people living on the territory over more than 21 mln square kilometers and possessing huge natural resources, a developed technological basis, and different economic advantages complementing each other. Actually, the dialogue continued this or another way. Another thing is that this not at the previous level and with the same intensity and efficiency."

The diplomat also dismissed the accusations against Russia of trying to meddle in the elections held in third countries stressing that no convincing evidence has been provided to substantiate the claims.

"I think these [accusations] are largely related to an independent self-consistent position, which Russia has on many issues," Razov noted. "We are glad to note that there are sober political forces, including in Italy, which understand that these invalid claims are absurd and are not ready to risk their traditionally friendly relations with Russia to please the current political environment," he said.

On Sunday, Italy holds elections to the European Parliament, with 76 Italian representatives fighting to the seats. The Lega (League) party, which is part of the ruling coalition, is projected to win the majority of the vote. Its leader, Vice Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has repeatedly called for cancelling anti-Russian sanctions and building ties with Moscow. He voiced skepticism over the EU ruling bodies in their current form, demanding that a number of European agreements should be reconsidered.