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Before Meeting Putin, Italy's Renzi Visits Site Of Nemtsov Slaying


Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has laid flowers at the site where opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was shot dead in Moscow six days ago.

Nemtsov was killed on a bridge close to the Kremlin.

Renzi visited the spot and left six carnations wrapped up in a green-white-red ribbon, the colors of the Italian flag. He made no statement.

He later met with President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

At the start of their meeting, Renzi told Putin he wanted to discuss relations between Russia and the European Union "in the context of the Ukraine crisis," among other things.

Renzi held talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv on March 4.

The stated aim of Renzi's visit is to help international efforts to stabilize eastern Ukraine and urge Russia to cooperate in return for an easing of international sanctions.

The United States and the European Union adopted several rounds of sanctions after accusing the Kremlin of fomenting unrest in Ukraine.

The measures have affected the Italian economy, which counts Russia as one of its top export markets.

Based on reporting by dpa and Reuters

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