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Italian PM To Meet With Putin In Sochi

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni (file photo)
Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni (file photo)

The Kremlin has confirmed that Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on May 17.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on May 2 that the meeting was on Putin's schedule, confirming earlier reports in the Italian media.

He did not provide details about the agenda for the meeting.

Gentiloni, who took office in December, is also expected to visit China on the same trip.

Gentiloni visited the United States last month for talks with U.S. President Donald Trump. He urged Trump to play a "very critical role" in stabilizing Libya.

Trump, however, said flatly, "I don't see a role in Libya."

Italy will host a summit of the Group of Seven (G7) world powers on May 26-27. In January, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said his government was seeking to resume "the G8 format with Russia and ending the atmosphere of the Cold War."

Russia was suspended from the G8 in March 2014 after Moscow illegally annexed the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

Based on reporting by TASS, Financial Times, and The Washington Times