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Italy’s Renzi forces retreat from new sanctions on Russia
19:31, 21 October 2016
Italy’s Renzi forces retreat from new sanctions on Russia

Italy resists EU push for Russia sanctions over Aleppo bombings

19:31, 21 October 2016

Reuters

European Union leaders condemned Russia on Friday for its bombing of civilians in Syria's besieged city of Aleppo but faced resistance from Italy to impose new sanctions against Moscow, according to Reuters

Horrified by Russian air strikes on hospitals and an aid convoy that have killed hundreds of civilians including children, Britain, France and Germany want maximum pressure on Moscow to stop its assault on rebels in eastern Aleppo.

Despite vocal support from Theresa May and her French counterpart, Francois Hollande, the plan failed to win the necessary unanimity to pass.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, whose country has broad trade ties with Russia, said economic sanctions should not be part of that strategy because they would not force Moscow to negotiate a peace settlement.

The EU imposed economic sanctions against Russia in July 2014 in response to Russia’s arming of rebels in eastern Ukraine and failure to cooperate in the investigation over the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which killed 298 people. Talk of ending those sanctions, which target Russian banks, energy companies and arms makers, had “completely disappeared without trace”, an EU diplomat said.

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