Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he was in favor of revising the system of European sanctions against Russia, ANSA news agency reported.
"We will become advocates of openness towards Russia, which has strengthened its international role in resolving various geopolitical crises in recent years. We will become the initiators of a review of the sanctions system, starting with those that oppress civil society in Russia," Conte said, speaking in the Senate.
He stressed that Italy intends to remain an ally of the United States and maintain its membership in NATO. "We intend to confirm the confident membership of our country in the North Atlantic Alliance, while preserving the US as a privileged ally," said Conte.
The EU Council extended economic sanctions against specific sectors of the Russian economy until July 31, 2018. Earlier, the European Union requested World Trade Organization permission to introduce trade sanctions against the Russian Federation worth $1.6 billion.