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Italian party to offer resolution against anti-Russian sanctions

July 06, 2016, 13:12 UTC+3 ROME

Italy’s Northern League will submit the resolution in Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna regions

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© Alexei Pavlishak/TASS

ROME, July 6. /TASS/. Italy’s Lega Nord (Northern League) opposition party will submit for discussion a resolution against anti-Russian sanctions in two more regions - Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna, Gianluca Savoini, a foreign policy adviser to the party’s leader and the President of the Lombardy-Russia association, told TASS on Wednesday.

"We intend to bring up for discussion a draft resolution in two more regions where the Northern League is represented in the regional councils - in Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna," he said.

Support for resolution growing

Four Italian regions (Veneto, Lombardy, Liguria and Tuscany) have already voted for the resolution calling for lifting the sanctions and restoring full-fledged relations with Russia. The Regional Council of Veneto was the first to do this (in May). On June 29, a similar document was approved in Liguria where it was supported by both representatives of the ruling national center-left Democratic Party, and on July 5 Lombardy’s Regional Council voted for the resolution.

It is quite telling that in Lombardy where the center-right coalition - Lega Nord and Forza Italia (Forward Italy) - has the majority of seats the text of the document has preserved an appeal for the international recognition of the Crimean population’s right to self-determination. In Tuscany where the vote was held on Wednesday there was no paragraph on Crimea. However, this made it possible to pass a resolution in favor of lifting the anti-Russian sanctions unanimously in the region where the Democratic Party holds the majority of seats.

Constant dropping wears away a stone

Lega Nord has expressed satisfaction with this fruitful cooperation with political opponents at the regional level on relations with Russia. The discussion at the councils meetings has revealed quite obvious unanimity on the need to abandon the sanctions due to which Italy has lost 3.6 bln euros, said Lega Nord that initiated the discussion of the resolution. The party that stands in opposition to the incumbent national government earlier submitted a resolution on lifting of sanctions to the national parliament but the ruling majority did not support it.

Nevertheless, Lega Nord member Paolo Grimoldi has told TASS that his faction will raise the issue again. "After half of Italy’s regions speak out in favor of lifting the sanctions, we hope this will influence the decision of the national parliament as well," he said.

Other opposition parties - Forza Italia (Forward Italy), the Five Star Movement and Brothers of Italy - have too taken a stand against the sanctions. Many members of the ruling Democratic Party also share the call to lift the restrictive measures.

Resolutions passed at the regional level carry no legal weight but send highly important political signals to Rome and Brussels, Lega Nord officials say.

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