Sanctions failed to ‘bring Russia to its knees’ – industry group

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The EU is suffering more from its own restrictions against Moscow, the head of an Italian business group has told RT

Western sanctions have failed to achieve their declared goal of destabilizing Russia and its economy, Vittorio Torrembini, president of the Association of Italian Entrepreneurs in Russia, told RT on the sidelines of the Eurasian Economic Forum in Samarkand on Saturday.

According to Torrembini, “if the goal of the sanctions was to bring Russia to its knees, that goal was not achieved.

Europe suffers more than Russia from these sanctions – poor people suffer, entrepreneurs who are losing their businesses, workers who are losing their jobs, people who are losing purchasing power due to high energy costs,” the business official noted.

According to Torrembini, it is high time for Western countries and governments “to take other measures” instead of sanctions, including attempting to start a dialogue with Moscow.

Without dialogue, the issue of Ukraine… will not be resolved; without dialogue, nothing will happen,” he stressed.

Torrembini noted that business can be one of the avenues through which a new cooperation strategy could be formed between Russia and the EU. He said, however, that at the moment many European companies are being pressured not to pursue projects with Russia. Still, he added, “stopping business is like stopping water with your hands” and expressed hope that business cooperation will not be stifled by political agendas.

Speaking to reporters in September, Torrembini said that nearly all Italian corporations that were forced to leave the Russian market due to Western sanctions over the past several months have expressed a wish to return. He added that some 110 companies from Italy are still running production capacities in the sanctions-hit country, while 150 have maintained a presence in Russia.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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