Italy will support the European Union economic sanctions against Russian Federation

Anti-EU stickers are displayed for sale to delegates attending the UKIP Spring Conference in Llandudno north Wales

Three diplomats told the Reuters news agency that Italy is also resisting European Union proposals to impose sanctions on countries that carry out cyberattacks, in another move seen as being in favour of Moscow.

His comments came a day after Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini had described the European Union sanctions as a "social, cultural and economic absurdity". The interior minister and leader of the anti-migrant Euroskeptic League party added: "I feel at home in Russian Federation while I don't in other European countries". He said an assessment of what was most in Italian interests would be made. Salvini charged that the EU is sanctioning Russian Federation for "alleged violations against Ukraine", while taking no action over Turkey's occupation of northern Cyprus - "a European country" - since 1974.

Italian Vice Prime Minister stressed that the sanctions regime "does not make sense and does not give a positive effect".

"If we are asked to confirm, we will say no". The sanctions are due to expire in January.

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However, the question of whether Italy to veto the extension of sanctions, Salvini said that "the Joker "veto" in Europe you can only play once".

EU sources have told RFE/RL that Italy might agree to extend the sanctions if the EU agrees to Rome's proposal to soften them somewhat by reviving EU bank funding for small Russian businesses that were not targeted by the sanctions. "We will see. I'll think about it (whether I will run for the position of President of the European Commission - ed.)", - said Salvini.

"I feel at home here".

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