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Prodi Urges G7 to Invite Russia Back In Before U.S. Does

Feb. 6, 2017 (EIRNS)—Romano Prodi, former Italian Prime Minister and ex-President of the European Commission, says Italy should do everything possible to repair relations with Russia while Italy presides over the Group of Seven (G7), AFP’s Maman Vatsyayana reports today. Prodi proposed this yesterday in an article in Il Messaggero newspaper, urging it be done ahead of the 43rd G7 summit in Taomina, Sicily, scheduled for late May.

Prodi said,

"The first reason for doing that comes naturally from the fact of how little marginalization of Russia, including sanctions, has helped in untangling the Ukrainian conflict, and how [little it has impacted] on the increasing role of Russia in fighting terrorism in Europe and the Middle East."

Prodi made the point that Russia increasingly contributes to international security and stability.

Prodi continued,

"The other reason for restoration of relations with Russia is the necessity to take a stance [on this issue] before the U.S. President makes it."

President Trump is believed to be seeking better relations with Russia, and the European Union, and Italy, especially, has to beat the U.S. in mending relationships with Russia, in Prodi’s view, AFP says.

Earlier in 2017, Prodi said that dwindling EU-U.S. relations oblige the EU to stop tailing American politics, and that Europe should be the first to repair relations with Russia.

"We can make sacrifices for the sake of solidarity politics, but if there’s no solidarity anymore, there’s no reason to be stubborn. Let’s be proactive, and not leave a privileged role for the U.S. in relations with Russia."

Angelino Alfano, the Italian Foreign Minister and current chairman of the G7, has already said Russia must be re-installed as a member.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in 2014, when the other members of the group refused to attend the Group’s summit in Sochi, that Russia was "not clinging to the G8" format, as the G20 was already a much better platform to discuss the most crucial world problem with a wide range of world powers.