Executive Intelligence Review


The ‘Three Ms’ Wanted More Sanctions against Russia, but Italy Has Blocked It

March 27, 2018 (EIRNS)—A diplomatic source leaked to the Huffington Post Italia some background about the fight at the March 22-23 European Council summit at which the EU heads of state and government backed Theresa May. “It was Germany and Britain’s premiers, Angela Merkel and Theresa May, [who were] to draft the European response together with French President Emmanuel Macron. The first two, the source says, wanted to be even harder and strengthen economic and trade sanctions against Moscow.... ‘But [Italian] Prime Minister Gentiloni,’ say sources at the Foreign Ministry, ‘opposed this, succeeding in blocking the Anglo-German initiative.’ ”

The Italian opposition was not dictated only by national economic and trade interests, the source says:

“We are convinced that Russia is a crucial partner in stabilizing explosive areas such as North Africa and the Middle East, and furthermore, the negative consequences of an arms race would fall above all on Europe.”

On this, there is a “bipartisan” view among all the main political forces; the Lega, M5S, Forza Italia, and the Partito Democratico (PD) all converge on considering Russia as a counterpart that cannot be put up against the wall.

Huffington Post then cites a March 11 Sunday New York Times op-ed by Frank Bruni, under the headline “Italy Has Dumped America. For Russia,” in which, despite his anti-Trump twist, the author says that the Italian election results of the Lega and the M5S are “a triumph for Putin.” Both parties have called for an end to sanctions and blamed the EU and United States for Moscow’s policy on Ukraine. The Lega has even signed a cooperation treaty with Putin’s party.