09:28 GMT10 August 2020
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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)

    Italy should help to de-escalate a potentially dangerous situation between Russia and NATO following the downing of a Russian bomber by the Turkish Air Force in Syria by lifting sanctions against Russia, Alessandro Di Battista, a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, told the TV channel Rai Uno.

    On Tuesday, the Turkish Air Force downed a Russian Su-24 bomber, engaging in anti-ISIL strikes in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident as "a stab in the back by accomplices of terrorists."

    Ankara claimed it shot down the Russian bomber because it had allegedly violated Turkish airspace. Both the Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command confirmed that the Su-24 never crossed into Turkey and was downed in Syrian airspace.

    Italy is in a tough situation, being between the United States and Russia. Italy is akin to a "clay vase caught between the hammer and the anvil," Di Battista said.

    That's why it's in the interest of the Italian government should try to defuse the political tension between the two major superpowers, Di Battista explained.

    What Italy should do now is to lift sanctions against Russia. It would be a gesture of friendship and would help to alleviate a tense situation between Russia and NATO, the Italian politician argued.

    Italy imposed anti-Russian sanctions only because they a subject of the United States. These sanctions have hurt the Italian economy and at the same time have put fuel to the fire that's going on in the Middle East, Di Battista said.

    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)


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