March 7, 2021

Russia thanks Italy for its position on sanctions and looks at the new EC



Russian President Vladimir Putin today thanked Italy for its position to settle the economic sanctions of the European Union (EU) and hoped that they will be reviewed by the new Commission (EC) because, he argued, they hurt both parties.

The Russian leader is on an official trip to Rome and after meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, he gave a press conference in which he thanked the Italian position to recover the full relations between the two blocs after the separatist crisis in the east of Ukraine and the role of Moscow in it.

In this sense, and to questions from the press, Putin referred to the candidate to preside over the EC, the German Ursula von der Leyen: "We do not know what the new direction will be like but in regard to the recovery of relations the position of the new president will be very important, "he said.

To this end, he stated that in 2014 the commercial exchange between the EU bloc and Russia amounted to some 450,000 million dollars and is currently around 200,000 million dollars.

"These missing 200 billion dollars are benefits not received by Russia and Europe, Westerners did not send us goods for billions of euros, it is a loss for you and for us, as well as for employment," he said.

And he held out his hand: "The new European leadership may take this into account, we are prepared to do our part."

Putin arrived in a "friendly" country, governed for a year by the coalition between the anti-system Five Star Movement and the extreme right-wing League, which in the document with which sealed his coalition considered it "timely" to withdraw Russia sanctions.

"We believe that sanctions are not an end but a transitory regime and Italy is working to create the premises that allow us to overcome this state of relations that does not benefit Russia, the EU or Italy," said Conte.

The Russian president said he "understands" that Italy is linked to European commitments but opted for its eventual role in making relations more flexible: "We hope that Italy on sanctions will defend a return to a 360-degree relationship with Russia," defended

They met at the Chigi Palace in Rome, where Putin was received with honors and in the midst of a broad security deployment in the center of the capital, and on the table were the main issues of international politics.

Among these was the crisis in Venezuela and Putin acknowledged that "can not be indifferent" to the situation of this country due to the millionaire investments that Russia has established there.

"We have good relations with the president (Venezuelan, Nicolás) Maduro for a long time We ship armament and cooperate in the sector of the economy and energy We have invested billions there We can not be indifferent to the normalization between the parties ", he pointed.

Putin considered "inadmissible" a foreign military intervention in Venezuela, supported the dialogue in Norway between the Venezuelan opposition and Chavez, criticized the decision of the head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, to proclaim himself interim president of the country and advocated dialogue and the democratic methods.

Special attention was given to Libya, a country at war since 2011, and from where Italy receives a large part of its immigrants through the central Mediterranean.

Putin assured his support both to the President of the Government in Tripoli supported by the UN, Fayez al Serraj, and to the strongman of the East, Khalifa Hafter, and reproached the "chaos" to NATO for contributing to the fall of the dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2011: "We should not stabilize the situation, we should ask the person who deteriorated it," he criticized.

Putin also spoke about the trade negotiations between the United States and China and expressed his hope that an "acceptable" agreement would be reached for both, because otherwise "the global economy would lose, trade will fall, the world's GDP will be bad. for all".

On these issues, Venezuela, Ukraine or Syria, Putin has spoken at all the meetings he has held in Rome, including an unusually long one with Pope Francis in the Vatican and another with his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella.

In the morning, Francisco and Putin held a "cordial" meeting in which they spoke about the Catholic Church in Russia, Venezuela, and ecology, and the Russian president said goodbye thanking the Argentine pontiff for that "substantial and interesting conversation".

Putin gave Francssco the gift of Andrei Konchalovski's film "Sin" (Sin) about the life of Michelangelo and a book with the images of the film.

He concluded the day with a dinner with Conte and the vice presidents of the Government and leaders of the two parties of the coalition, Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, in the Villa Madama in Rome.

. (tagsToTranslate) Russia (t) thanks (t) Italy (t) sanctions (t) CE



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