Executive Intelligence Review


Italy’s Minister Salvini in Moscow Insists, Bring Russia Back into the ‘European Family’

July 16, 2018 (EIRNS)—Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini addressed a press conference today in Moscow at which he said he intended to encourage the European Union to ease sanctions on Russia, arguing that it were better to bring Russia back “into the European family,” and echoing Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s affirmation in Canada that Russia’s membership to the G8 should be restored. He commented that the planned summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, is “a wonderful start.”

“We hope we will be able to convince other governments with democracy and convincing numbers,” he reported, as vetoes “are only a last resort,” and sanctions have never worked, “in the history of humanity.” It were far better, he stressed, to work out problems through “meetings and dialogue” than through sanctions. As for Russia, it “has a right to a seat with the most powerful leaders.” Following today’s successful Helsinki summit, he told TASS that he’d like to invite the U.S. and Russian Presidents to hold their next summit in Italy.

He also reaffirmed that Italy is not seeking an exit from the euro.

“We are giving the European Union a last chance to continue to exist as it is,” Bloomberg quoted him as saying.

Salvini did not meet with Putin during his visit, but was scheduled to meet with Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, officials from the Russian Security Council, and representatives of Italian and Russian business communities, Sputnik reported.

In an interview with the Rainews24 TV channel, as reported by Sputnik, Salvini explained that, since sanctions are unworkable, he is

“looking forward to returning to [joint] work, maintaining a dialogue, tackling cultural and trade cooperation between Italy and Russia.... I am proud to be the first minister of the new Italian government who arrived with an official mission to Russia ... but for tomorrow’s political and economic talks.”

Interviewed by Sputnik, Gianmatteo Ferrari, a member of Italy’s Lega party, which Salvini heads, praised the “cooperative” nature of the Trump-Putin summit, emphasizing that if the “Russia-U.S. dialogue begins, I’m sure that the Russia-EU dialogue will also start, thanks to the pressure of Italy and Matteo Salvini, who was in Moscow today.”