Italian PM: renewal of EU anti-Russian sanctions should not be automatic
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the renewal of European economic sanctions against Russia should not be automatic.
European leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday are due to extend until the end of January the sanctions imposed against Russia over its intervention in Ukraine, diplomats and officials said.
"We will reaffirm the principle that there should be nothing automatic about the renewal of sanctions," Conte told parliament in a speech outlining Italy's position on various issues ahead of the Brussels meeting.
"We need to be very careful about this. Sanctions should be a means and not constitute an end," Reuters cited him as saying.
The PM added that Italy would pay "great attention" to the interests of Italian companies.