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    Italy Lifting Anti-Russia Sanctions Could Be West's First Split – Author

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    Commenting on the possibility of Italy's abrogation of anti-Russian sanctions in an interview with Sputnik, the author of the book titled "Al di la del pregiudizio" (Outside prejudice) has suggested that a raft of EU countries, such as Germany and France, would follow suit.

    Lorenzo Valloreja, author of the book "Al di la del pregiudizio" (Outside prejudice) said that "the US is very much concerned about the situation around Rome considering the lifting of sanctions against Russia."

    "If Italy abolishes [the anti-Russian] sanctions, it will be the first split on the Western front," Valloreja underscored.

    He predicted the scenario, which will see "the fall of the whole European house of cards" in the wake of Italy's abrogation of the anti-Russian sanctions.

    READ MORE: Italy's Decision to Join Anti-Russia Sanctions 'Was a Mistake,' Analyst Says

    "On the one hand, [French President] Emmanuel Macron tries to take control of the European countries and on the other – he wants to restore relations between France and Russia. So if Italy scraps the sanctions, France and Germany will most likely follow suit," Valloreja pointed out.

    Addressing remarks by US President Donald Trump's special representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, that "Italy cannot abolish sanctions against Russia without serious consequences," Valloreja said that Volker "should be ashamed of such statements."

    READ MORE: Beyond Sanctions: Italy's Economy Starves Without Russian Business

    "This is a direct intervention in Rome's policy. The US, which sees Italy as NATO's main stronghold in the Mediterranean, is concerned about Rome changing its allies. Fortunately on Monday, a [coalition] government will most likely be formed [in Italy] and its members have always called for the abolition of the anti-Russian sanctions," he concluded.

    Matteo Salvini, the leader of the right-wing Lega Party, is in talks with his Five Star Movement (M5S) counterpart, Luigi di Maio, to clinch a deal on the creation of Italy's coalition government.

    READ MORE: Germany 'Should Take First Step to Russia' by Easing Sanctions — Bundestag VP

    Last month, Salvini described the economic sanctions against Russia as "insanity directed against a friendly and neighboring market.

    In another development, The Financial Times reported that France is urging its European allies, including Germany and Italy, to convince Washington that the anti-Russian sanctions need to be eased.

    The latest round of US restrictions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) was introduced on April 6, with the sanctions list including senior Russian government officials and lawmakers, as well as major business owners and private and state-owned companies under their control.

    They include former Rusal president Oleg Deripaska, Gazprom head Alexey Miller and VTB Bank President Andrey Kostin.

    The views and opinions expressed by Lorenzo Valloreja are those of the analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Related:

    Italy's Eni Chairwoman Says Anti-Russian Sanctions Create Problems for Company
    Italy's Veneto Issues Resolution Calling for Lifting Anti-Russia Sanctions
    Backfire: Sanctions Against Russia Cost Italy Up to $4.3Bln – Italian MP
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    scenario, consequences, relations, sanctions, Donald Trump, Italy, Germany, United States, Russia, France
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