MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said that Rome could be counted on for assistance in searching for a diplomatic settlement to the Ukraine crisis.
"I would also like to touch upon the tensions near Ukraine's eastern borders, on the border between Russia and Ukraine. Italy has been in favor of a diplomatic solution from the beginning, and Italy can be counted on to help reach a diplomatic settlement," he said at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday.·
Di Maio also expressed gratitude that the meeting was able to be arranged in such a short time frame. "Thank you for this meeting. I am glad that it was possible to organize it in such a short time. I agree that our relations - both cultural, economic, and political - are the basis of the friendship between our peoples," the Italian top diplomat said.
"The fact that we have been able, even during the pandemic, to hold a cross-year event contributes to the promotion of dialogue and understanding, which also facilitates diplomatic contacts on other current issues on the international agenda. <...>. The phone conversation between our Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Russian President Vladimir Putin is also evidence of the important exchange between our countries," Italy’s diplomacy chief added.
Di Maio arrived in Moscow immediately after a visit to Kiev, where he also held talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba.