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Russia: Lavrov and Italian FM question reflexive use of sanctions against Russia04:00

Russia: Lavrov and Italian FM question reflexive use of sanctions against Russia

Russian Federation, Moscow
March 25, 2016 at 15:59 GMT +00:00 · Published

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni following their meeting in Moscow, Friday. A wide range of issues including the fight against international terrorism, the situation in Syria and Ukraine as well as European sanctions were on the agenda.

While addressing the press, Lavrov criticised US authorities for "losing taste" for classical diplomacy and implementing sanctions instead of engaging in political dialogue. "It seems like they are tired of classical diplomacy or, in Washington, they have lost their taste for diplomacy as a means of achieving compromise. If something is wrong, sanctions follow immediately," he said.

Commenting on Syria and Ukraine, Lavrov stated that several US officials are willing "to put pressure on Russia and even impose sanctions in order to make Russia apply more effort."

The Russian diplomat also commented on the recent appeal to the international community made by Federica Mogherini for all countries to apply sanctions against Russia. He said such calls were "not constructive," adding "we believe this direction doesn't reflect the opinion of the majority in the European Union. If such a Russophobic minority prevails in Europe, we can only express our regret."

Gentiloni stated that "Italy has never associated the evaluation of Russia's role in different theatres around the world and the appreciation of Russia's constructive role in various theaters, with sanctions." He added, "I must stress Russia's key role in several crises, in particular the Syrian one," adding that "we cannot imagine that it is bureaucratic practice, to issue an automatic extension [of the sanctions]."

Russia: Lavrov and Italian FM question reflexive use of sanctions against Russia04:00
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni following their meeting in Moscow, Friday. A wide range of issues including the fight against international terrorism, the situation in Syria and Ukraine as well as European sanctions were on the agenda.

While addressing the press, Lavrov criticised US authorities for "losing taste" for classical diplomacy and implementing sanctions instead of engaging in political dialogue. "It seems like they are tired of classical diplomacy or, in Washington, they have lost their taste for diplomacy as a means of achieving compromise. If something is wrong, sanctions follow immediately," he said.

Commenting on Syria and Ukraine, Lavrov stated that several US officials are willing "to put pressure on Russia and even impose sanctions in order to make Russia apply more effort."

The Russian diplomat also commented on the recent appeal to the international community made by Federica Mogherini for all countries to apply sanctions against Russia. He said such calls were "not constructive," adding "we believe this direction doesn't reflect the opinion of the majority in the European Union. If such a Russophobic minority prevails in Europe, we can only express our regret."

Gentiloni stated that "Italy has never associated the evaluation of Russia's role in different theatres around the world and the appreciation of Russia's constructive role in various theaters, with sanctions." He added, "I must stress Russia's key role in several crises, in particular the Syrian one," adding that "we cannot imagine that it is bureaucratic practice, to issue an automatic extension [of the sanctions]."

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