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Italian foreign minister to visit Kiev, Moscow to discuss Ukrainian crisis settlement ways

July 07, 2014, 8:14 UTC+3 ROME
Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini stressed the need for the bilateral ceasefire by the conflicting sides in the southeast of Ukraine
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Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini (R)

Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini (R)

© EPA/FABIO CAMPANA

ROME, July 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini on Monday is embarking on a four-day trip that includes visits to Kiev and Moscow. The Italian minister said that by paying the first visits, after Italy assumed the EU presidency, to Ukraine and Russia, Rome wants to highlight the priority of the search for ways of settling the Ukrainian conflict and find an equilibrium in relations with Moscow after the signing of the EU association agreement by Kiev.

Mogherini has repeatedly stressed the need for the bilateral ceasefire by the conflicting sides in the southeast of Ukraine, release all the seized observers and establishment of the system of control over the Russian-Ukrainian border the monitoring of which should be conducted by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The Italian minister has already discussed these issues with her Russian, Ukrainian, German and French colleagues, as well as with the president of Switzerland that is presiding in the OSCE.

Russian Ambassador to Italy Sergei Razov told ITAR-TASS in an interview that the visit of Mogherini to Moscow “reflects the local repeated calls for supporting the political dialogue with Russia.”

Rome has the consistent position that the Ukrainian settlement is impossible without establishing a constructive dialogue with Moscow. Italy as the country presiding in the EU stresses that Russia is a strategic partner of Europe. The Italian Foreign Ministry says at the same time that without reaching stability in the southeast of Ukraine it would be difficult to continue the work in the Russia-EU strategic partnership agreements and maintain interaction within the NATO-Russia Council.

The Italian Foreign Ministry’s press service said that Mogherini will arrive in Kiev on Monday where she plans to meet Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and on June 8 - Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. So far, talks with President Petro Poroshenko have not been confirmed.

The Italian minister has an uneasy question to Kiev authorities: 1.5 months since the death of Italian photo journalist Andy Rocchelli in mortar fire outside Sloviansk, Rome still has not received explanations concerning the circumstance of this tragic incident. It was previously reported that Kiev had opened an investigation into this incident in which Rocchelli’s translator Andrei Mironov was also killed.

In addition, Mogherini will meet in Kiev, where she had been in February before her appointment to the minister’s post within a NATO Parliamentary Assembly delegation, with Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, the ministry said.

On July 9, the Italian minister who is expected to be appointed EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in the new European Commission, in addition to the planned meetings, first of all with Sergei Lavrov, will have a cultural programme. On the occasion of the beginning of Italy’s presidency in the EU, a concert of Italian violinist Uto Ughi will be given at the Bolshoi Theatre. The event was organised by the Italian Embassy to Russia and the Italian Culture Institute in Moscow.

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