Executive Intelligence Review


NATO and U.S. Officials React to Italian Call To Lift Russia Sanctions

June 7, 2018 (EIRNS)—The new Italian government led by Giuseppe Conte won a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies with a large majority yesterday (350, yes; 236, no; and 35 abstaining), after having won a confidence vote in the Senate on June 5. During his response in the Chamber debate, Conte mentioned bank separation as part of the government program, as we reported in yesterday’s EIR Daily Alert.

The previous day, he had called for lifting sanctions against Russia during his speech in the Senate. Today, NATO and U.S. officials responded to Conte, asserting that sanctions cannot be lifted.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who often forgets he is a secretary and not a general, said: “We must maintain a political dialogue with Russia, but economic sanctions are important.” Stoltenberg said that “Moscow must change behavior” before sanctions are lifted.

U.S. NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison stated: “Italy is one of our strongest allies” in NATO, but “on Russia we believe that sanctions should be kept until Moscow changes its behavior: It is important that our allies be firm on this position.”

Kurt Volker, Washington envoy to Ukraine, told La Stampa that

“sanctions are decided and implemented as EU policy, not just as member states. Therefore, even if Italy can possibly call for lifting them in a European context, as long as there is a EU decision in favor of the measures, Rome will be obliged as member state to implement them. There would be consequences if it does not do it.”

As if this were any of his business in the first place!

Today the new Italian Defense Minister Elisabetta Trenta, will participate in a NATO defense ministers meeting.