Italy expected to propose revival of European Union fundings

Mae Love
October 20, 2018

Italy's Eurosceptic government is pushing for a reduction of tensions between the European Union and Russian Federation but risks isolation in Brussels as EU partners seek instead stronger measures to deter Moscow from interfering in EU affairs.

"I come here because I am convinced that sanctions are economic, social and cultural madness", said Salvini, who leads the far-right League party and also serves as deputy prime minister.

He criticized the basis of the sanctions, which were imposed on Moscow after Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and backing for separatists in eastern Ukraine in a war against the government.

Deputy Prime Minister and interior Minister of Italy Matteo Salvini does not exclude that can compete for the post of President of the European Commission. Lithuanian foreign minister Linas Linkevicius, in an interview said he is "skeptical" of the Italian proposal, and said loosening the sanctions at this time would be "bad timing" and would send "a very wrong message" to Russian Federation because no progress has been made to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine - a prerequisite the European Union laid down for lifting the sanctions.

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"If we are asked to confirm, we will say no".

"There's the question of the European Union budget, the question of migration, and the budget, which I don't know what to play if they reject it but we'll carry on all the same". "Here, I feel as safe as in my home", Salvini told the Moscow gathering.

Eurosceptic Salvini is known for his Pro-Russian stance.

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