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Lavrov’s visit to Italy is aimed at reversing negative trends in relations with EU

In Rome the Russian foreign minister is scheduled to hold talks with Paolo Gentiloni and Italian President, Sergio Mattarella

MOSCOW, November 30. /TASS/. During his Italian trip the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is due to focus on the measures needed to reverse negative trends in bilateral cooperation. 

Under Western pressure on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, the dynamics of contacts between the two countries has slowed down, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"The Italian government, following the common policy of the EU and NATO, supported the anti-Russia sanctions," the ministry said.

"Nonetheless, Italy’s political, regional, business and public sectors declare their interests in preserving a vast potential accumulated throughout long years of bilateral cooperation, in maintaining an active dialog between Russia and Italy, including at the highest level. So they are taking practical steps towards this," the Russian foreign ministry said. "Resolutions calling to lift anti-Russian sanctions have been already adopted in a number of Italian regions."

"With regard to mutual concerns over the negative trends in bilateral trade (in 2015 the trade decreased by 36.2% to $30.6 bln, whereas in the first nine months of the current year - by 41.2% to $14.2bln), it is planned to discuss measures to reverse them, in particular through implementation of the decisions adopted at the 14th session of the Russian-Italian council on economic, industrial, financial cooperation in Rome on October 5, 2016," the ministry said.

In Rome Lavrov will hold talks with Italian foreign minister and the country's president.