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Italy's PM Wants Autonomy for Ukraine's Regions

Offers up the example of Italy's German-speaking South Tyrol region

MOSCOW, March 5 (TASS) - Ukraine has to carry out reforms that would guarantee the autonomy for all the country's territories, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said in an interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman on Thursday.

"It is necessary to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and restore the full control of the borders. Simultaneously, there is a need to conduct reforms to guarantee the autonomy for all the Ukrainian territories," Renzi said in an exclusive interview for TASS, the Rossiya 24 TV channel and the Rossiyskaya Gazeta government daily.

<figcaption>Photo: ©Yekaterina Shtukin/Russian government press service, TASS</figcaption>
Photo: ©Yekaterina Shtukin/Russian government press service, TASS

According to Renzi, Italy has experience in granting autonomy to the country’s regions.

"In this view, Italy has an example, as there is a small region on our territory which is called Alto Adige. It enjoys a special and exclusive amount of autonomy," the Italian prime minister said.

Speaking on resolving the conflict in Ukraine, Renzi stressed that "there is no alternative to peace and dialogue" and it is essential to "work every day so that the preconditions and promises given in Minsk become a reality."

"After the Minsk accords, I look at things much more optimistically since a significant common point has been found in Minsk," Renzi said, adding that this was thanks to the effort made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, and also French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"A step forward has been made. I hope that we will be able to continue working together," he added.

Renzi reiterated that the only way to overcome the problems that have emerged is to "respect everyone and all together, not only those agreements that the EU is creating on energy issues together with Russia and Ukraine."

"But first of all the Minsk agreements," he said.

The Italian prime minister has arrived in Moscow to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. This is Renzi’s first visit to Russia as a prime minister, which comes at the invitation of the Russian president.

At talks with Putin, Renzi is expected to discuss international issues - Ukraine, Libya, Syria and the Middle East. The negotiations with Medvedev will focus on the economic issues.


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