Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni speaks following a meeting between the US and its European allies on the situations in Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemenon March 13, 2016 in Paris. / AFP / GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT
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Italy and Hungary, two of the Kremlin's closest allies in Europe, said Monday there could be no automatic extension of the European Union's sanctions against Russia, the most public sign yet of fraying unity on how to deal with Moscow.However, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told a news conference such decisions were never taken without political debate, while EU officials said Monday's debate among ministers was measured.Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Hungary are among the EU states most skeptical about the sanctions, while European farmers, who once exported heavily to Russia, want to see markets reopen and protested in Brussels on Monday.However, the United States says lifting Western sanctions are conditional on Russia complying with the terms of the Minsk peace process.
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