Putin Gets Love in Italy, But Not Much Else (Op-ed)
PDF | Italy is one of Russia's key partners in Europe. Although Rome has been part of Western economic and military integration structures. Italian executives seek to build on close relations with Russia despite sanctions. Italy–Russia relations are the bilateral foreign relations between the two countries, embodied in the so-called privileged relationship.
The leaders aligned on a number of key international issues, such as the invasion of Iraq inoperations in Libya inthe crisis in Crimea inand the ongoing Syrian conflict.
Berlusconi fashioned himself as a bridge between the West and Moscow, and more recently served as an intermediary between Putin and the current Italian government. As the main shareholder of MediasetBerlusconi also influences or controls most Italian television channels, which often adopt a similar editorial tone to Russian media outlets, such as Sputnik and RT. Despite his position as a strong ally of the West—and the United States in particular—Renzi tried to cultivate closer economic cooperation between Italy and Russia during his term.
What does this mean for the March 4 vote?
Given the volatility in Italian politics, the Kremlin diversified its investment to maintain a broad spectrum of openings with each significant party ahead of the March 4 vote, as opposed to a targeted interference campaign to favor one side.
Unlike other cases, because of the depth and breadth of overt Russo-Italian ties, the overall opportunity for covert and wide-spread interference in the Italian elections remains limited. Still, this does not mean that Russia is not keeping a close eye on the Italian elections.
No doubt certain results will be more advantageous for Moscow than others. Some form of Forza Italia victory that would hand Berlusconi the political reigns—even if informally since he is barred from holding public office due to a tax fraud conviction—may be the most ideal option for Putin. After the March election, it is almost certain to get both a pro-Russian government and a sizable pro-Russian opposition.
They will likely make sure that the European Union won't expand sanctions against Russia -- but the sanctions are unlikely to be lifted. The Kremlin's policy, based largely on economic interest, is to drive a wedge between the U. But while the U. In Novemberindividuals and 28 entities were subject to sanctions in Europe. That's only grown to people and 38 entities by now. A search in the U.
In Russia's case, it has done so more than two dozen times. The big prize for Russia, then, is to get a dissenter who would vote against an extension of the restrictions. It can't be Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orban openly admires Putin; Cyprus, inundated with Russian money; or Austria, where the nationalist Freedom Party, the junior partner in the current ruling coalition, has a cooperation agreement with Putin's United Russia party.
For these small nations, the cost of open rebellion against EU unity on a highly visible matter outweighs any economic benefits from increased trade with Russia.
Russian ‘advocates’: Italy’s new government unnerves Western allies
They point out that Italy depended on Russian coal during the darkest days of the Cold War with no dire consequence. Italians are also lulled into complacency by the fact that geographic proximity to North African resources means that they are far less dependent on Russia than are the Germans or the former Eastern bloc countries.
The real solution to Europe's energy insecurity, according to ENI, lay in more direct pipeline connections to Russian gas fields and a need for pipelines that do not go through Ukraine. In the industrial and high-tech sectors, firms such as Finmeccanica successfully collaborate with Russian firms: Alenia and Sukhoi collaborated on the production and marketing of the Super Jetand other companies such as Pirelli, Danieli, Gruppo Marcegaglia, Ferrero, Indesit, Cremonini, Coeclerici, Marazzi and Barbaro have made substantial investments in Russia.
Italy–Russia relations - Wikipedia
This later contract was cancelled once Putin returned to the Presidency, when the Medvedev administration officials who had be bribed to support the contract left office - sic transit gloria mundi. In the banking sector, Unicredit Banca is ranked 8th in Russia in terms of assets, and is the top foreign bank there. Banca Intesa is among the top institutes for credit to small and midsized enterprises in Russia.
Inrelations between Russia and the European Union, including Italy, deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine.
Brussels, Washington and their allies have introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions over Crimea's secession from Ukraine and reunification with Russia, accusing Moscow of meddling in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Another Italian regional council of Liguria set a final date for a vote on a similar resolution for 29 June The Upper House of the Italian Parliament adopted a resolution 27 June opposing the automatic renewal of anti-Russian sanctions.
The text of the resolution, proposed by the opposition Northern League, was approved by a majority vote. The resolution lists a set of recommendations to the Italian government on key issues that will be raised at the EU summit on June The Northern League was not the only party in the Senate to propose a resolution on lifting anti-Russian sanctions. Earlier Monday, the Senate discussed and rejected two similar resolutions proposed by the 5-Star Movement M5S and Forza Italia, also major opposition parties.
Stefano called for the withdrawal of anti-Russian sanctions and advocated cooperation with Russia in various economic sectors. As result of the sanctions, the Italian economy has to bear serious losses, Renzi stated.
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Salvini said that Italy had lost over six billion euro as result of the sanctions policy. For our part, at the level of regions and municipalities, we have prepared documents that would help overcome or remove sanctions," the politician stressed. By March the Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni also believes that the EU was too much fixated on the Ukrainian crisis and ignores other equally important, problems at hand.
Italy had been hard hit by the ban on food and other imports introduced by Russia in response to similar sanctions earlier slapped on it by the EU. Later, as the Italian Prime Minister, in January Paolo Gentiloni expressed his desire to mend relations with Moscow, and told his end-of-year press conference that Rome intends to use its G7 presidency this year to "improve various aspects of relations with Russia.