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Moscow hails Italy’s position on EU anti-Russian sanctions, says Lavrov

Rome does not consider sanctions as an efficient instrument of influencing Moscow in particular, or anyone in principle, according to Russia's top diplomat

MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. Italy’s sincerely negative attitude to the European Union’s anti-Russian sanctions meets that country’s interests and helps promote cooperation with Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

"I think based on my contacts with Italian colleagues, Italy does not consider sanctions as an efficient instrument of influencing Russia in particular or anyone in principle," he told a news conference on the results of Russia’s presidency in 2020. "As far as I can see, Italy, not without Brussels’ resistance, is defending its right to develop bilateral relations with Russia and is doing it sincerely, I think. Such a policy reflects the right understanding of Italy’s interests."

The Russian top diplomat described Moscow’s relations with Rome as good. "Italy is one of those countries of the European Union that have to abide by discipline, by the European Union’s solidarity principles but think it inexpedient to uphold an aggressive position in respect of Russia," he said, adding that Italian people are interested in continuing humanitarian, sports and cultural contacts with Russia. In his words, good traditions of the Russian-Italian relations help meet the interests of business and people of both countries.