00:31 GMT +319 June 2018
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    Leader of The League party Matteo Salvini talks during an electoral rally in Milan, Italy, Friday, March 2, 2018

    'I'm Not Pro-Russian or Pro-American' - New Italian Vice PM

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    The new Italian government is in favor of lifting economic sanctions against Moscow and maintaining fruitful business cooperation between the two countries.

    Relations between Italy and Russia should be based on the principle of friendly ties between two neighbors, Matteo Salvini, the deputy prime minister and head of the Italian Ministry of the Interior said.

    This is due to the fact that Russia is Italy's important business partner, the politician added.

    "I speak about the principle of good-neighborliness and positive cooperation. I'm not pro-Russian or pro-American," the politician said in an interview with Radio Anch'io on Wednesday.

    "We need to have good trade relations with Russia. It is a strategic partner in terms of energy and for our companies," Salvini added.

    READ MORE: New Italian PM Conte Backs Lifting Anti-Russia Sanctions

    Last week, a coalition consisting of the Eurosceptic Lega and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) managed to form a government after weeks of talks and the rejection of their first attempt to form a cabinet.

    Among other issues, the coalition agreement between the two parties calls for the lifting of anti-Russia sanctions and for Moscow's reinstatement as a strategic mediator of the Syrian, Libyan and Yemeni crises.

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    sanctions, Matteo Salvini, Russia, Italy
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