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Kremlin regards Italy’s election as its internal affair, wishes the EU prosperity

Russia wants Italy to remain its long-term partner

MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. The Kremlin believes that the parliamentary election in Italy is this country’s domestic affair and hopes for Europe’s prosperity. "We regard it [the election] as Italy’s domestic affair, the sovereign right of Italian citizens to cast their votes for the political powers which they see fit for the future of their country," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, commenting on the outcome of the Italian parliamentary election.

"We want Italy to remain our gracious and long-term partner, and (we want) Europe to be prosperous, while fostering and holding benevolent relations with the Russian Federation based on the principles of mutual benefit and shared respect," he added.

The center-right coalition led by Matteo Salvini’s Lega and the Five Star Movement triumphed at Sunday’s parliamentary election in Italy. According to the official vote count, which is being wrapped up in the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that is performing the functions of the election commission, the center-right coalition clinched 37% and the Five Star Movement garnered 32%, which is the best result for a party nominated outside the coalition. The center-left Democratic Party, which has been governing for the last five years, suffered a major defeat, with around 20% of the votes.

Lega, which was founded in 1989 as a regional party supporting the interests of the northern regions and the idea of federalism, proved itself to be a nationwide political party supported by the south as well. Salvini stands out for his tough stance on immigration, as well as frequent criticism of the EU. Lega is often recognized as a Eurosceptic party.