June 20th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Sputnik Italia – – translated by Frederick Assar –
The European Union has extended anti-Russian sanctions for a year until June 2018. The next European summit is likely to extend the restrictive measures against Moscow
Italy pays the price for EU’s russophobia.
The EU’s anti-racist record seems to be broken: trade sanctions are once again extended and Russia is painted as the enemy of Europe.
Stefano Maullu, MP for Forza Italia:
According to Coldiretti estimates, the commercial war of sanctions has already led Italy to a 10 billion euros loss. This is purely self-inflicted. Why would anyone ever pay such a heavy toll by giving in to the countries that want to play the Cold War game?
Sputnik Italia reached for an interview Stefano Maullu, MP for Forza Italia, member of the EU-Russia relations’ delegation at the European Parliament.
Q. The European Union has extended anti-Russian sanctions for another year and the EU’s next summit will have to decide on the extension of sanctions against Moscow. Mr Maullu, could you provide us with your remarks on these restrictive measures?
A. I think it is the far-reaching arm of a misguided antagonistic policy on behalf of the EU, as determined by the Visegrad Group, a series of countries that are traditionally hostile to Russia. It is a sanctioning policy that doesn’t help trade, doesn’t favour a relaxed climate, and above all doesn’t create the conditions to the main enemies of the European Union and the Russian Federation: terrorism and Balkanization of the Middle East. I am talking about phenomena that are creating many problems for Italy.
We need stability and therefore we also need to work within a G8 having in the Russian Federation one of its key actors. (…) I believe Russia to be an integral part of the continent’s European Union macro-continent, a country with centuries of history of commercial and cultural relations with Italy. Relations between Italy and Russia must be maintained and amplified, certainly not deteriorated.
Q. How much is this commercial war costing Italy?
A. The sanctions are expensive for Italy, but overall sanctions are likely to be a stimulus for the Russian economy, which is heading in the direction of expanding the country’s industrial sector. I think Putin seized the opportunity offered by the sanctions to find the strength to impose a forced industrialization plan, as proven by the opportunities in special economic zones.
Q. How do you imagine the relationship between the European Union and Russia, and especially between Russia and Italy, in the future?
A. I hope that the relationship won’t just go back to being good, but excellent, especially for Italy. I’m work towards this end in the European Parliament; I’m work to ensure that Italy is one of the most reliable partners for the Russian Federation, to which we are linked bycenturies of history and – above all – a continuity of action. Italy has always been present in Russia and we have always played a junction between the two areas. I believe Italy’s role consists exactly in this.