Italy considers it necessary to conduct a political discussion between European leaders before the next extension of anti-Russian sanctions, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.
On Wednesday, he addressed the House of Deputies of the national parliament ahead of the upcoming meeting of the European Council on June 19. Conte said that an information message is expected from the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on the status of implementation of the Minsk agreements on the Donbass.
“It meets the need that Italy has always emphasized for political discussion between leaders before proceeding with a six-month extension of sectoral economic sanctions against Russia that expire on July 31, while avoiding automatic actions. For Italy, cooperation with our European partners remains a priority promoting the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, which is the goal of the sanctions instrument”, – the Italian Prime Minister said.
Italy traditionally associates the lifting of sanctions against the Russian Federation with the need to implement the Minsk agreements in eastern Ukraine, while at the same time not officially recognizing the reunification of Crimea with the Russian Federation. Representatives of the Italian leadership have repeatedly stated the need to eliminate the causes for mutual sanctions between Russia and the European Union, calling them “an instrument, not an end in itself”.