Drop Russia sanctions immediately, Italy’s M5S & Lega Nord urge in landmark govt pact


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Italy’s ruling anti-establishment Five Star Movement and Lega Nord parties have called for an immediate lifting of sanctions imposed on Russia. The coalition also introduced other proposals likely to send tremors across the EU.

A landmark government program published by the Five Star Movement (M5S) and its right-wing coalition ally Lega Nord says dropping the Russia sanctions would provide an opening for Moscow to be involved in solving regional crises gripping the Middle East. 

While calling the US a “privileged ally,” the document pledges re-engagement with Russia that “should not be perceived as a threat but as an economic and business partner.” Therefore, the pact says, “it is appropriate to put an immediate stop to the sanctions imposed on Russia so it can resume its role of strategic mediator to solve regional crises (in Syria, Libya, Yemen).”

Going further, the ruling coalition calls Russia “a potential partner for NATO and for the EU,” and underlines that there are other, more acute threats emerging at Europe’s “southern front,” namely “Islamic extremism, uncontrolled migration, and consequent tensions that arise between regional powers.”

Therefore, Italy, whose foreign policy will be centered around national interests, “should deepen its cooperation with other countries committed to counter terrorism,” the program asserts.