Italy’s Salvini doesn’t exclude EU veto on Russia sanctions

Published July 17, 2018, 12:36 AM

by Roel Tibay

By the Associated Press

Italy’s populist government is hoping to convince the European Union to lift sanctions against Russia but won’t rule out using its veto if diplomacy fails.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, right, and Evelina Christillin in the stands prior to the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek/ MANILA BULLETIN)
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, right, and Evelina Christillin in the stands prior to the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Italy planned to use “good manners, the art of diplomacy, numbers and evidence” to persuade other countries that EU sanctions against Russia were hurting Europe as a whole.

The EU sanctions were extended for another six months last week.

Speaking Monday in Moscow, Salvini said vetoing a further extension of sanctions “doesn’t scare us.” He said: “I don’t exclude anything.”

Italy has vowed to relax sanctions against Russia, which it says has hurt the Italian economy through decreased tourism and exports. Salvini said Monday the Italian economy was losing 7 million euros ($8.2 million) a day thanks to the sanctions.

 
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