MOSCOW, November 15 /TASS/. More than 200,000 Italians working in small and mid-sized companies have lost their jobs due to the West’s anti-Russian sanctions, Vito Petrocelli, an Italian MP and the leader of Italian Five Stars movement, told a news conference on Tuesday.
He believes the decision to impose sanctions on Russia was wrong. "Italian companies’ interests and rights were violated much more than the interests of enterprises and employees in any other European country," the Italian politician stressed.
"Our small and mid-sized businesses lost an opportunity to maintain relations with Russian partners after the sanctions had been imposed," Petrocelli said.
"The anti-Russian sanctions are useless. Italian business has lost € 7 bln and more than 200,000 Italians have become unemployed since 2014," Petrocelli emphasized.
Another Five Stars movement member, Mirella Lucci, noted that Italian MPs had asked the country’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to lift the sanctions several times. "However, the government remains has turned a blind eye to our requests. We believe that the sanctions should be lifted immediately but the country’s hands are tied," the Italian politician explained.
"Italy is not in a position to lift the anti-Russian sanctions," Lucci added.
The European Union imposed sanctions on Russia on August 1, 2014. In July, the European Union officially extended sectoral economic sanctions on Russia for another six months until January 31, 2017. EU foreign ministers may pass a political decision on further expanding the sanctions late in December.