Sanctions on Ukraine? Lavrov presses for the Italian veto

“I don’t think Rome is interested in raising tensions,” the Russian foreign minister said of the restrictions as a possible Western action on the situation in Ukraine. Di Maio: “Moscow and Kiev’s readiness to find a diplomatic solution.” Draghi announces: “In the coming days in Moscow”

Sergey LavrovRussian Foreign Minister, opened the long press conference (more than 45 minutes) after meeting with Luigi Di Maiothe Italian counterpart, talks about trade exchanges between the two countries and presents data for 2021. “Last year, we recorded an increase of about 50% on our exchanges and I want to mention the last video conference meeting between the President [Vladimir] put it in and Italian companies. It could weaken Italian policy, and thus European and transatlantic policy, toward Russia at this point in the crisis with Ukraine. Moreover, according to Lavrov, the work of the Intergovernmental Committee on Economic Affairs between Italy and Russia “will resume with full speed”: “During the epidemic, this trading mechanism was not very active,” while “now we would also like to reactivate consultations,” said the Russian minister.

Soon the words of the head of Moscow’s diplomacy turned into a warning to Rome: any sanctions would deal a severe blow to the Italian economy.

Lavrov explained his line better soon after with a curtain that deserves to be said. Al-Rai correspondent in Moscow asks two questions. One to Di Maio: “What will Italy do if more sanctions are imposed against Russia?” The other to the Russian Foreign Minister about the “evidence” to be provided of the Russian withdrawal. The owner interjected before leaving the floor for his counterpart to say: “At last an ordinary question, very brief, short.” Having allowed Di Maio to explain the Italian position – “known to all”: “We are working for a diplomatic solution and diplomatic solution means avoiding any kind of sanctions” – he took the floor, answering the same question as follows: “Sanctions cannot be enacted if a country opposes it.” At least one (…) I don’t think Italy is interested in raising tensions.” Translated: Moscow – which “highly values ​​Italy’s role in the multilateral dialogue at the international level,” Lavrov explained – hopes that Rome will use its veto.

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The two ministers confirmed at the press conference that Italy and Russia are working to hold a meeting in Moscow between them Mario Draghi And put it inDi Maio explained that it would be held “as soon as possible”. A few hours after the President of the Council emphasized at the conclusion of the informal European Council on the Ukraine crisis: “The goal now is to get Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President to sit at the table. Volodymyr Zelensky”, with whom he spoke yesterday on the phone. He added that “Italy is doing everything in its power to support this trend,” announcing his visit to Moscow “in the next few days,” warning Russia: “At the moment, there have been no episodes of calm on the ground.”

The Italian foreign minister, after stopping on Tuesday in Kiev, later met his Ukrainian counterpart Dmitro KolebaHe declared: “In light of what Minister Kuleba told me on Tuesday in Kiev and today by Lavrov, there is a willingness on both sides to find a diplomatic solution.”

“Italy was and will always be a country of dialogue,” the minister explained. And once again: Italy is ready, hopefully not necessary, to share deterrence mechanisms with our European partners and allies in the event of an escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. And he made it clear that we want to support the ongoing negotiations, both in the Normandy format, between NATO and Russia, and between the United States and Russia on the broader European security architecture. Di Maio said that Italy, referring to the Rome line, is working to ensure that the NATO-Russia Council is necessary to overcome the crisis related to European security: “We agree that Russia working fully in NATO can be an important place to reach a solution, Indeed, it is in everyone’s interest.”

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Lavrov said that Russia sees “continuity” in Italy’s work on multilateral cooperation, starting in 2002, when the dialogue between Moscow and NATO was held in Pratica di Mare thanks to the Rome Declaration. The Russian Foreign Minister once again noted that Di Maio’s visit to Russia “worked for the continuation of the exchange of views.”

During the long press conference, Lavrov also had the opportunity to conduct some excavations in the West. A question from the Russian press: “Do you think that the Western partners somehow intend to apologize or ever deny their false assertions about the Russian invasion?” Answer: “I don’t think they intend to apologise.” And again, about Western “lies” about the Russian invasion of Ukraine: “There are those who spread these lies. There are others who follow in solidarity.” Perhaps another call for Italy to distance itself from its allies. And finally, he said, “NATO does the things it accuses us of,” about the statements of NATO defense ministers published on Wednesday evening. Here is Moscow’s accusation: NATO is strengthening its military presence near the Russian border.

He responded to his accusations from a distance les trussthe British foreign secretary, who last week had a difficult confrontation with Lavrov (“like talking to a deaf person,” the head of Russian diplomacy said): “Reports of the alleged unusual military activities by Ukraine in the Donbass are a blatant attempt by the Russian government to fabricate pretexts. invasion”, wrote on twitter. This came directly from the Kremlin brochure. The UK will continue to condemn the Russian disinformation campaign.” The tweet was also retweeted by Richard MooreThe head of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), as if confirming London’s confidence in the work of Western intelligence spoke of an invasion that could happen “at any time”, using the words of Jake SullivanNational Security Adviser of the United States.

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