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One more Italian region joining demands to recognize Crimea, lift anti-Russian sanctions

May 25, 2016, 23:34 UTC+3 ROME

A resolution containing the request was presented in the Regional Council of Liguria on Wednesday at the initiative the Lega Nord (Northern League) party

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© Ruslan Shamukov/TASS

ROME, May 25. /TASS/. One more region of Italy, Liguria, is asking the national government to recognize the status of Crimea as a constituent region of Russia and to lift the anti-Russian sanctions, which the West introduced in 2014 after the state coup in Kiev and Crimea's referendum on reunification with the Russian Federation.

A resolution containing the request was presented in the Regional Council of Liguria on Wednesday at the initiative the Lega Nord (Northern League) party, Gianluca Savoini, a foreign policy advisor at Lega Nord and the President of the Lombardy-Russia association, told TASS.

"We became the first political party in Europe that recognized Crimea's transfer to Russia and we became the first party whose leader visited Crimea," he said. "We don't forget this topic a maintain a persistent line by demanding a consolidation of relations between Russia and the EU."

Savoini recalled that the country's two biggest regions, which are the drive engines of the national economy, Lombardy and Veneto, are making the same demands

The Regional Council of Veneto where Lega Nord has the majority of seats endorsed a relevant document on May 18. Voting in Lombardy has been scheduled for June 7 and in Liguria where Lega Nord has the majority of seats in alliance with Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia movement will take place on the same day.

Forza Italia maintains the same stance on relations with Russia as Lega Nord.

The Ligurian resolution was drafted at the initiative of Lega Nord as the party seeks to put pressure on the national government at the regional level.

"Two most important regions and a region with access to the sea shore and the largest seaport (Genoa TASS) are voicing their position the one that can't be ignored," Gianluca Savoini said.

He also said Lega Nord was preparing a visit to Crimea by its new leader, Matteo Salvini. "The steps made by the party and its leader are political ones while Lombardy-Russia is a cultural association and facilitates contacts between Italian and Russian businessmen and the rise of economic partnership.

"Our companies are interested in cooperation with Crimea, among other things," Savoini said.

Resolutions adopted by regional councils do not have a specified legal force but they send highly important political signals, Lega Nord officials say. The party that stands in opposition to the incumbent national government earlier submitted a resolution for the lifting of sanctions to the national parliament but the ruling majority did not support it there.

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