15:09 GMT +3 hours26 July 2016
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EU Needs to Reassess Relations With Russia: Italian Foreign Minister

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The European Union needs to reassess relations with Russia, Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said at a hearing in the European Parliament.

BRUSSELS, October 6 (RIA Novosti) - The European Union needs to reassess relations with Russia, Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said at a hearing in the European Parliament.

"We need to reassess relations with Russia, might not be a partner right now, but a strategic country and neighbor," Mogherini was quoted as saying on the twitter of the European External Action Service.

The relations between Russia and the West have deteriorated due to the situation in Ukraine. Following Crimea's reunification with Russia, the United States and the European Union have introduced several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia, blaming Moscow for meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs — claims that Russia has repeatedly denied. The EU and US allies have followed in Washington's footsteps, drawing up their own blacklists.

In August, Moscow responded to Western sanctions, implementing a one-year ban on certain food imports from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway.

The latest EU and US sanctions were introduced against Russia in the second half of September. The sanctions, predominantly targeted the banking, energy and military sectors and are considered misplaced by many political experts, as they don't correspond with the intention to peacefully settle the ongoing Ukrainian conflict and are disadvantageous for many European countries from the economic point of view.

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