Corriere della Sera Interviews Lavrov: Italy Loses on Sanctions but U.S. Wins
Dec. 1, 2016 (EIRNS)—In an interview in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed the hope that Italy will act in its own best interests in its relations with Russia, especially with respect to the European Union sanctions against Russia.
"The European sanctions on one hand, to which Italy has adhered, and the Russian measures on the other hand have had a negative influence on the economic and commercial bilateral cooperation,"
Lavrov told Corriere, according to the English translation posted on Corriere’s website.
"The situation in this field remains very complex still today and both countries are seriously worried. An evident indicator is the significant reduction of the commercial exchange. Last year there was a decrease by 36.2%, going down to $30.6 billion. In the first nine months of this year it has gone down by 41.2%, reaching $14.2 billion.
"Today Italy is Russia’s sixth commercial partner, but for a long period of time it has been its fourth. It is significant that the U.S. are now at the fifth place. Thus, Washington, which became the initiator of the considerable part of anti-Russian settings, does not sustain losses itself. Here is food for thought for our Italian and in general our EU partners,"
Lavrov stated pointedly.
Lavrov’s interview came ahead of his official visit to Italy on Dec. 1-2, when he will meet with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni. On Dec. 2 he will address the second MED-Rome Mediterranean Dialogues International Conference. This, just days before the decisive vote in Italy scheduled for Dec. 4, which could lead to a chain reaction implosion of the entire trans- Atlantic financial system.
"We have registered that political, economic and social environments in Italy are constantly unsatisfied with the policy of sanctions and they support a return to more bilateral relations. We know that even in Italian regions there are many people who argue that economical- commercial relations with Russia should be unlocked; many of these regions have also approved some resolutions for sanctions to be lifted. We hope that Rome is willing to build its relations with Moscow but maintaining its interests in the first place. The entire story of Italian-Russian relations, based on a long experience of lucrative cooperation, is an example of the important results that, with joined efforts, we have been able to obtain.... During the negotiations between President Putin and Prime Minister Renzi on the occasion of the 20th Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, the perspective of a more dynamic Italian-Russian cooperation in the most important fields has been discussed."