“To date, those who have been sanctioned are winners, while those who have implemented the sanctions are on their knees,” the League chief tweeted.
Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s far-right League party, sparked controversy on Sunday by questioning the effectiveness of European sanctions imposed on Russia to sanction the invasion of Ukraine. “Several months have passed and people are paying their bills twice or even four times more, and after seven months the war continues and the coffers of the Russian Federation are filling up with money“, he declared to the radio RTL.
“We need a European shieldto protect businesses and families, as during the Covid-19 pandemic, he claimed in stride during a debate organized within the framework of the Economic Forum The European House – Ambrosetti in Cernobbio, in the north of Italy.
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“If we want to go ahead with the sanctions, let’s do it, we want to protect Ukraine, but I would not want that instead of harming the sanctioned, we harm ourselves“, he nuanced. “Do the penalties work? No. To this day, those who have been sanctioned are winners, while those who have implemented the sanctions are on their knees“, he had tweeted the day before. “Clearly, someone in Europe is miscalculating: rethinking strategy is key to saving jobs and businesses in Italy“, he launched.
Enrico Letta, leader of the Democratic Party (PD), one of his main opponents in the current campaign for the September 25 legislative elections, immediately replied in a tweet: “I think Putin couldn’t have said it better“.
These are statementsirresponsible” who “risk causing very serious damage to Italy, to our reliability and to our role in Europe“, he told the press on the sidelines of the forum organized on the shores of Lake Como.
“When I hear Salvini talk about sanctions, I feel like I’m listening to Putin’s propaganda. I’m worried about a country like Italy that winks at Russia“Reacted the Minister for the South, Mara Carfagna, who left the conservative Forza Italia party of Silvio Berlusconi to protest against his role in the fall of the government of Mario Draghi.
Links between Matteo Salvini and Moscow have raised concerns in Italy, particularly since the invasion of Ukraine, at the risk of hampering his party and his allies of Forza Italia and Fratelli d’Italia (post-fascist) in the campaign electoral.
Conversely, Giorgia Meloni, her coalition partner and leader of Fratelli d’Italia, who prances at the top of the polls, has taken clear positions in favor of support for Ukraine, sanctions and the sending of weapons in kyiv. “If Italy didn’t send any more weapons or participate in the sanctions, what would the West do? Nothing, he would keep sending them“, she estimated in Cernobbio in front of an audience of entrepreneurs and representatives of international finance. “If Italy lets go of its allies, for Ukraine nothing changes, for us a lot. A serious nation that wants to defend its interests must have a credible posture“, she argued.
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