The decision to lift the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions introduced amid the Ukrainian crisis can have a greater political effect now than to keep them, Italy’s former Prime Minister Romano Prodi told the Corriere della Sera newspaper in an interview on Friday.


“The relations with Moscow for a long-term prospect are at stake that are needed both for the future of Russia and Europe. Sanctions can be efficient both when they are introduced and when they are lifted. At the moment, lifting them can have a greater effect than extending them,” Prodi said.


The Italian politician, who also served as the tenth president of the European Commission, said that it is impossible to solve a range of international problems, including the Syrian crisis, without Russia.


The EU is expected to discuss the issue of extending the sanctions at the 28-member bloc’s summit this June. The representatives of the EU countries, including Italy, say the decision will depend on the implementation of the Minsk peace deal on Ukraine.


Italy is the only country now that opposes the automatic extension of sanctions against Russia.




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