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Italian Deputy PM: Russia May Help Defend European Civilization From Extremists

© AFP 2023 / TIZIANA FABI Il leader della Lega Nord Matteo Salvini
Il leader della Lega Nord Matteo Salvini - Sputnik International
There is a growing understanding in Europe and the world that Russia is not a threat, but an important ally in dealing with the many perils and challenges facing the world.

“Russia is a fundamental ally in the war on terror and should be worked with to defend European civilization against extremists,” Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has said.

“I’m glad that US President Donald Trump has similar intentions towards Russia, just like I do. Russia is our fundamental ally against terrorism. As Europeans, we should work with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to defend our civilization against attacks by Islamist extremists,” Salvini said in an interview with the newspaper Izvestia.

During the recent G7 summit in Canada, President Donald Trump said that “we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”

Italian Lega Nord (Northern League) Secretary, Matteo Salvini, speaks during a press conference on December 9, 2015 in Rome - Sputnik International
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He added that the G7 should become a G8 again, whether the other members like it or not.

Salvini, who also doubles as Italy’s interior minister, earlier said that Italy was ready to discuss the status of Crimea and hinted that Rome could veto an extension of EU sanctions over Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

He also said that in its relations with Moscow, Italy should proceed from the principle of good neighborliness because Russia is an important partner in trade and energy.

“Russia is Not a Threat”

The new Italian government vowed to push for lifting anti-Russia sanctions in a “contract” the Five Star Movement and Matteo Salvini’s League party, signed before they formed the country’s new Cabinet.

READ MORE: Donald Trump Has a Go at Allies After Discordant G7 Summit

The contract underscores Italy’s desire to have closer ties with Russia which it says “is not a threat but an increasingly important trade and economic partner” and “a strategic interlocutor” in resolving regional crises in Syria, Libya and Yemen.

The document also emphasizes the need to lift EU sanctions imposed on Russia.

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