ROME (Sputnik) — Italy’s Five Star Movement, the country’s main opposition force, will seek the lifting of sanctions against Russia, the movement’s external policy program released on Tuesday said.
"The Five Star Movement will work for the immediate cancellation of the sanctions imposed against Russia and for the restart of cooperation in order to resolve the crises in Iraq, Syria and Libya, as well as to fight international terrorism," the movement’s program, based on the survey conducted among its members, said.
The paper, dubbed "Restart of the dialogue with the strategic partner," notes the "shortsightedness of the external policy of Italy, the European Union and [former US President Barack] Obama’s Administration," regarding the Ukrainian crisis and the issue of Crimea, which saw the European Union and the United States disregard Moscow's desire to preserve its own interests in the former Soviet regions, in the face of NATO expansion.
"The sanctions and Moscow’s countermeasures cost Italian exports 3.7 billion euros [$3.75 billion] in the past year. This sanctions-war is against the interests of our country. Russia as a country with 142 million people is a strategic market not only for the goods marked "Made in Italy," but for the entire European economy," the paper reads.
According to the latest opinion polls, Italy’s ruling Democratic Party has support of 26.8 percent of the population, which is a decrease of over three percent in comparison to the previous month. The Five Star Movement, on the contrary, strengthened its position by 1.4 percent and is now supported by 32.3 percent of the population.
Since 2014, relations between Russia and the European Union and the United States, deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine. Brussels, Washington and their allies introduced several rounds of sanctions against Russia on the pretext of its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, which Moscow has repeatedly denied. In response to the restrictive measures, Russia has imposed a food embargo on some products originating in countries that have targeted it with sanctions.