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Italy's Veneto to fight against sanctions policy towards Russia

October 23, 10:33 UTC+3 ROME

Veneto was the first Italian region, which approved last year a resolution calling to lift sanctions against Moscow

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Veneto Governor Luca Zaia

Veneto Governor Luca Zaia

© EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

ROME, October 23. /TASS/. Authorities of northeastern Italy’s Veneto region will continue fighting against the sanctions policy on Russia, including through talks on broadening the autonomy, Veneto Governor Luca Zaia told TASS.

"Nothing prevents regional authorities from striving for autonomy allowing us to carry out our own economic and foreign policy. The anti-Russian sanctions deal a huge blow against our region, and we will continue the policy towards struggling against sanctions," Zaia said.

Veneto was the first Italian region, which approved last year a resolution calling to lift sanctions against Moscow and recognize the status of Crimea, which rejoined Russia in March 2014 after a referendum.

The governor said the region "is prepared to start talks with the state" and if Rome shows real readiness here, this process may be completed until the powers of the current parliament expire in spring 2018.

When asked if Veneto indeed hopes to keep 9/10 of tax levies in the regional treasury, the governor said: "We will suggest (this). And this will be an issue for talks in the future."

On Sunday, Italy’s most economically developed regions, Veneto and Lombardia, held autonomy referendums. Some 98% and 95% citizens in Veneto and Lombardia, respectively, voted in favor of autonomy. The voter turnout reached 57% and nearly 40%, respectively. Lombardia, in the country’s northwest, held e-voting for the first time in Italy’s history.

These referendums were advisory. Under the country’s constitution, partial autonomy powers may be given only through talks with the authorities, which may be launched without the citizens’ approval.

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