“Russia is a fundamental ally in the war on terror and should be worked with to defend European civilization against extremists,” Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has said.
“I’m glad that US President Donald Trump has similar intentions towards Russia, just like I do. Russia is our fundamental ally against terrorism. As Europeans, we should work with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to defend our civilization against attacks by Islamist extremists,” Salvini said in an interview with the newspaper Izvestia.
During the recent G7 summit in Canada, President Donald Trump said that “we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”
Salvini, who also doubles as Italy’s interior minister, earlier said that Italy was ready to discuss the status of Crimea and hinted that Rome could veto an extension of EU sanctions over Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
He also said that in its relations with Moscow, Italy should proceed from the principle of good neighborliness because Russia is an important partner in trade and energy.
“Russia is Not a Threat”
The new Italian government vowed to push for lifting anti-Russia sanctions in a “contract” the Five Star Movement and Matteo Salvini’s League party, signed before they formed the country’s new Cabinet.
The contract underscores Italy’s desire to have closer ties with Russia which it says “is not a threat but an increasingly important trade and economic partner” and “a strategic interlocutor” in resolving regional crises in Syria, Libya and Yemen.
The document also emphasizes the need to lift EU sanctions imposed on Russia.