Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s right-wing Liga party, sparked controversy on Sunday by questioning the effectiveness of European sanctions imposed on Russia over its military operations in Ukraine.
In a statement to Salvini, which he made to a local radio before addressing the “European House – Ambrositi” Economic Forum in Chernobbio, in northern Italy: “Several months have passed and people are paying their bills two or even four times more, and after seven months, the war continues and the coffers of the Russian Federation are full of money”.
In a tweet from the leader of Italy’s right-wing Liga party, posted on Saturday, he asked: “Do sanctions work? To answer, “No. Even today, those who have been punished are the winners, while those who have imposed sanctions are the ones who are kneeling.”
“It is clear that in Europe there are miscalculations, it is necessary to rethink the strategy to save jobs and companies in Italy,” he added.
“I think Vladimir Putin would not have said it better,” responded Enrico Letta, leader of the Democratic Party, one of his main opponents in the current campaign for the legislative elections scheduled for September 25, in a tweet.
Responding to Salvini, Southern Minister Mara Carfagna said: “When I hear him talk about sanctions, I feel like I’m listening to Putin’s propaganda. I worry that a country like Italy is courting Russia.”
Relations between Matteo Salvini and Moscow have raised fears, especially since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which threatens to have a negative impact on his party and its allies in Forza Italia and Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia) during the elections. Campaign.
On the other hand, Giorgia Meloni, leader of the “Brothers of Italy” party, which leads opinion polls, took clear positions in favor of supporting Ukraine and sending weapons to kyiv.