Italy declares war on anti-Russian sanctions

Italy declares war on anti-Russian sanctions

Italy’s Prime Minister Jiuseppe Conte advocates a review of the anti-Russia sanctions system.

"The new government of Italy will be seeking that the sanction policy against Russia be reviewed, especially those [sanctions] that affect the economy and the civil society of the Russia," TASS cited the prime minister as saying.

Conte said Italy "will be fully open to Russia that has in the recent years strengthened its international role in the settlement of geopolitical crises". 

He emphasized, however, that Italy will remain a NATO country, while the US will remain its "traditionally privileged partner".

Conte addressed the Senate ahead of two parliamentary confidence votes expected to confirm his new cabinet, formed from a coalition of far-right and eurosceptic parties. His government was sworn in on Friday after almost three months of political turmoil that alarmed EU officials and spooked financial markets.

The head of the IMEMO of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexei Kuznetsov, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Italy, with due political will, could single-handedly cancel all European sanctions against Russia, but it will not do it.

"There are two things: first, the lifting of EU sanctions against Russia will simply trap European business, as it will have to choose between observing US sanctions in the absence of European sanctions and the Washington sanctions in case of its active work with Russia," the expert pointed out.

"The second point is that the statements about the abolition of sanctions by European governments do not lead to concrete actions. Many governments periodically say that they will lift sanctions against Russia, but as a rule, it's on the second plan in their agenda. Most likely, Italy will continue to extend sanctions against the Russian Federation along with others," Alexei Kuznetsov stressed.

"It's the futility of economic sanctions against Russia as an instrument of pressure on Moscow makes Italy to speak about the need to lift them," the head of the IMEMO of the Russian Academy of Sciences concluded.

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