Italy will lift the anti-Russia sanctions and further improve relations with Moscow in case Italian opposition parties, such as Five Star Movement (M5S) and Lega Nord, come to power, Ernesto Ferlenghi, the president of Confindustria Russia, the association representing and supporting Italian companies operating in Russia, told Sputnik on Tuesday.
On Sunday, Italians rejected a constitutional reform plan proposed by the country’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The referendum was largely viewed as a vote on Renzi’s leadership. The proposal implied limiting Senate powers to speed up the lawmaking process. On Monday Renzi announced his resignation. Italian President Sergio Mattarella asked Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to postpone his resignation until after the adoption of a law defining the 2017 state budget.
“We live in the European Union and it is obvious that we [Italy] have certain obligations. But I think that never no matter who would come to the power power in Italy no one would consider that Russia is not a strategic partner of Italy. In the event of coming to power of the Movement 5 stars and Lega Nord, we can expect only further improvement of relations with Russia and the movement towards mitigation and final lifting of sanctions against Russia,” Ferlenghi said.
According to Ferlenghi, people in Italy are accustomed to such political changes, which never affected negatively Italian relations with Russia. The country’s political forces as well as businesses have always tried to establish and strengthen relations with Russia, he added.
On Monday, M5S called for early parliamentary elections in the wake of the failed constitutional referendum and Renzi’s resignation. This initiative was supported Lega Nord, which announced readiness for the snap elections.
Since 2014, relations between Russia and the European Union have soured amid the crisis in Ukraine. Brussels, Washington and their allies have introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions since Crimea became part of Russia in 2014 and over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the conflict between the pro-independence eastern Ukrainian militias and Kiev.
Russia has repeatedly refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive and undermine global stability.