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Italian foreign minister says time to restore relations with Russia

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said the time has come to restore relations with Russia following the meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Friday.

"Russian-Italian relations were damaged due to the Ukrainian crisis, but at the same time we continue a fruitful dialogue," Gentiloni said. "It is time to restore relations in all spheres, especially in the context of the anti-IS fight."

The minister said the Syrian crisis was also discussed at the meeting with Lavrov. Italy hopes that after the Vienna talks on power succession steps forward will be taken, he added.

Gentiloni said despite the sanctions Italian businesmen continue working in Russia.

According to the minister, agreements on cultural exchange, inter-university cooperation and protection of cultural values were signed following the talks.

[Source: Itar Tass, Rome, 11Dec15]

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