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Putin, visiting Italy, says he hopes Rome can help mend Moscow-EU ties

Published: Updated:

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he hoped Italy would speak out clearly and consistently in favor of restoring fully fledged relations between the European Union and Russia and help persuade Brussels that sanctions on Moscow were a mistake.

Putin, speaking at a news conference after holding talks with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, said Moscow understood that Rome’s room for maneuver was limited by various factors, but said he hoped Italy could explain to the EU the damage that the bloc’s sanctions had done.

Putin said he saw no insurmountable obstacles to restoring fully fledged relations between Moscow and Brussels and was ready to play his part if no artificial road blocks were thrown up in Russia’s path.