Italy has delayed an EU decision to extend economic sanctions against Russia, demanding the measure is discussed further within the bloc. The surprising move came at a meeting of EU envoys in Brussels on Wednesday.
“We have asked for a discussion on the matter,” said Tiziana d’Angelo, a spokeswoman for the Italian mission to the EU.
The move made EU diplomats “sort of confused,” another EU Observer source said. Although Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has previously criticized the restrictive measures against Moscow, at G20 he personally backed its further extension.
It’s not the first time the West has faced a disagreement regarding economic sanctions imposed on Moscow over Ukrainian crisis. A number of EU countries, including Italy, Hungary, Cyprus, Slovakia and Greece have called for a political solution and dialogue with Russia, rather than turning to restrictive measures that also hurt the nations whose leaders have imposed them against Moscow.