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Vladimir Putin Will Visit Italy June 9-10

June 6, 2015 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Italy June 9-10. He will first visit the World Expo in Milan together with Prime minister Renzi on June 9. The two will visit the Russian and the Italian stand and will preside a bilateral meeting. Due to Putin’s visit, celebrations of the Russian National Day at the Expo, planned for june 12, will be anticipated of two days. He will then fly to Rome where, the next day, will meet State President Sergio Mattarella and Pope Francis.

This is Putin’s first visit in a NATO country after the coup in the Ukraine and the sanctions.

Ahead of his visit, Putin gave an interview to Corriere della Sera, which has been published integrally on the Kremlin website in English (http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/49629).

Italian media highlight a few passages from the long interview, for instance when Putin says that the idea that Russia could attack NATO is a joke, or that U.S. nuclear missiles can reach Russia in 17 minutes; that he had proposed that the U.S.A., Russia, and Europa develop AMD (anti-missle defense) systems together but the U.S.A. refused; that had the West not supported the forces that made the coup in Ukraine, things would have gone differently.

At the onset of the interview, Putin praised the "privileged" relationships between Russia and Italy, which have been continue. despite sanctions. He expose. the EU policy aimed at building a new wall between Russia and Eastern Europe, instead of building a Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals. If the EU builds a customs union is good, but when the former Soviet countries do it, it is bad. He raised the issue of the Third Energy Packet, which denies "the access of our nuclear energy products to the European market despite all the existing agreements." Nothing against Baltic countries joining the EU, but why should they cut energy relations with Russia? This forces Russia to build new energy capacities to replace them. The same goes with Ukraine.

Putin said that western leaders who refused to go to Moscow on May 9 "failed to see past the current complexity in international relations to something far more important that is linked not only to the past, but also to the need to fight for our common future."