03:24 GMT10 August 2020
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    Earlier this month, the European Council announced that the sanctions against Moscow will remain in place until January 31, 2019.

    Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini stated that Rome would address the problem of the anti-Russia restrictions until the end of the year.

    "In our opinion, sanctions don't benefit anyone, including the Italian economy. During this year in Brussels we will raise the issue of reviewing such an ineffective policy. We have already returned to good relations with Russia on the issues of culture, trade, industry and security," he told a press conference in Moscow.

    According to the Italian minister, Rome wants Italian businesses to work with Russian companies, as well as to boost cooperation between the states on security issues. Salvini also noted that the 2018 FIFA World Cup was a great instance of Russian success, adding that Russia also stands as an example for migration policy.

    Relations between Russia and the EU deteriorated following a violent coup d'état in Kiev in February 2014. After the people of the Crimean Peninsula held a referendum and voted for rejoining Russia, the bloc accused Moscow of violating international law and imposed sanctions against the country.

    READ MORE: Italian MP: We Need Soldiers at Europe's External Borders, But Not With Russia

    In turn, Russia responded with agricultural counter-sanctions, also setting a course for import substitution.

    Italian Plans on Eurozone

    In the meantime, Salvini told the press conference, that Rome had to use all tools at its disposal to strengthen Italian and European economies, thus, Italy would not leave the euro.

    "Italy's exit from the eurozone was not laid out in the contract of Lega [Salvini's party], or the new government contract… We have to work with the reality and at the moment, we should use the tools we have to strengthen the economy, both Italian and European ones," he stressed.

    In late May, the first attempt of the new Italian Parliament to form a government failed as President Sergio Mattarella rejected the candidature of Paolo Savona as Minister of Economy and Finances due to his harsh criticism of euro. After a heated dispute, the government was formed and Savona was appointed Minister of European Affairs.

    In his book 'Like a Nightmare and Like a Dream', released in May, Savona stated he had never pushed Italy to leave the eurozone, but wanted the government to be prepared for such a course of events.

    Tags:
    Matteo Salvini, Italy, Russia
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