Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte called for “dialogue” over EU sanctions on Russia, expressing that “Italy was traditionally a supporter of the Russian presence in the G8,” as he spoke to journalists in Charlevoix on Friday.

SOT, Giuseppe Conte, Italian Prime Minister (Italian): “Concerning Russia, I already expressed our position in the Parliament. We find ourselves traditionally and comfortably in the NATO alliance. I do not intend to discuss the international position of Italy. But for sure, for what has to do with the sanctions we are in favour of the dialogue, and we are especially concerned for the effects of the sanctions on the Russian population, which we don’t want to let (economically) depressed. As for the presence of Russia in the G8, we will see, for sure Italy was traditionally a supporter of the Russian presence in the G8.

SOT, Journalist (Italian): “Would Italy put its veto on the sanctions?”

SOT, Giuseppe Conte, Italian Prime Minister (Italian): “Italy will see how the situation will develop. We are just at the beginning of this G7. We will have dialogue with our partners. But I already told you that we have this sensibility: we want an opening to the dialogue. This doesn’t mean that we want to change a path that has been already set, and it is also related to the Minsk agreement, for what it has to do with sanctions.

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