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Initiators of Friends of Putin group call anti-Russian sanctions ‘idiotic’

October 24, 2014, 20:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Italy doesn’t have a foreign policy of its own, everything depends on the European Union’s decisions, secretary of the Northern League party Matteo Salvini said

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MOSCOW, October 24. /TASS/. Initiator of Friends of Putin group in the Italian parliament believe that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions are idiotic and doomed to fail, Matteo Salvini, the secretary of the Northern League party, told the Moscow-based Izvestia daily.

He said the group includes not only members of the Northern League, as representatives of other parties have joined it as well.

“The group are confident that the sanctions against Russia are little more than idiocy,” Salvini said. “We’ll see very soon if group members have enough political courage to make their viewpoints public and to speak up against the positions taken by their respective parties officially.”

He said the sanctions were particularly detrimental exactly for the northern regions of Italy.

“They are home to a huge number of farmers and businessmen who have traditionally maintained close economic relations with Russia,” Salvini said. “The case in hand is a loss of more than €3 billion by two regions alone, Lombardy and Veneto.”

As for the losses on the national scale, they are expected to come close to €4 billion.

“Italy doesn’t have a foreign policy of its own,” Salvini said with regret. “Everything depends on the European Union’s decisions, which in their turn go hand-in-glove with US interests. There’s nothing new in it, though.”

The cause of this situation lies in the absence of a monetary and economic sovereignty, he believes. “We don’t have sovereignty in political affairs either,” he said. “The reason is that the most recent leaders of our government were not elected by the people. They were appointed by lobbyist groups and officials of the European Central Bank."

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