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Italy wanted EU-Russia summit, backs dialogue with Moscow -Draghi - Metro US

Italy wanted EU-Russia summit, backs dialogue with Moscow -Draghi

European Union leaders meeting in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Italy backed a Franco-German proposal to hold a summit with Russia, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Friday, adding it was important to maintain dialogue with such an important economic power.

The proposal was rejected at an EU summit, after Poland and Baltic countries said it would send the wrong message as East-West ties deteriorate.

Speaking at the end of the summit, Draghi said many people only found out about the idea on Thursday, giving its supporters little time to rally support.

“Russia is an important player on the economic and political front, it cannot not be involved, we must have an active dialogue,” Draghi told reporters.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer and Agelo Amante; Editing by Gavin Jones)

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