07.10.2022

Italy and the EU should cooperate with Russia

The Vice Prime Minister noted that the new Italian government will defend its position on fundamental issues, as is already happening in the field of migration. The Interior Minister stressed that “Italy cannot accept half of Africa and take migrants to museums.”

Salvini said that Italy and the EU should establish relations with Russia and “talk with each other, trade, cooperate in the field of economics and the fight against terrorism”:

– Some said that you will not last long in the government. But you still head the Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

– 20 dense days full of work and facts. We returned the Italians dignity and pride in their country, started saying “no” when necessary, and claiming “yes” and immediate answers when it comes to security, unemployment and migrants. These 20 days offset the lost 4 years of silence and inaction.

– Indeed, it seems that you have done more in 20 days than any government in 5 years. “No” to “humanitarian ships”, a census was announced on the issue of Gypsies, the issue of tax cuts is on the agenda.

– Yes, unfortunately, our ministers found in the drawers of desks either garbage or long-expired contracts. Huge gaps in the law on necessary self-defense, school reform, thousands of teachers risk losing their places, in the fire department – shortfall of 5 thousand people. We don’t know how to work miracles and we won’t be able to do in a month what it takes 10 years. But we have set priorities. It used to be taken for Paris and Berlin that Italy always says: “Yes, sir! This very minute, sir! ” And now they understand that everything has changed.

– We just returned from Ragusa, went to Syracuse to see the Greek theater with a group of migrants. So they get acquainted with the history of the country in which they seek asylum. Then in Kamiza, where they watched as migrants play in a tournament against the city team. Is there a contradiction here: between the official policies of Rome and what is happening on the ground?

– The problem is in the numbers. For 4 years we have caught 650 boats in the sea, received 430 thousand requests for political asylum, of which 130 thousand remain under consideration. All this lasts a long time and costs money, and we do not have time to protect real refugees – those who have the right to asylum by law. It is necessary to limit the reduction in the number of those who sail from Libya, to reduce the number of deaths at sea and reduce the time for consideration of applications of those who have the right to stay. We cannot accept half-Africa in Italy, and then drive them to theaters or to the mountains to ski. I repeat: the one who has trouble in the house is my friend and brother. Anyone who does not have to return home.

– After all, you never said that you would close the ports for everyone – only for those humanitarian ships that secretly cooperate with traffickers?

– Sure. Moreover, humanitarian corridors operate in Africa.

– I will continue: after all, the same day the warship Datillo entered Italy. 900 people on board. They were allowed in!

– That’s it! It is necessary, as already done, to carry out the selection in Africa. Women and children who flee from war can always find their home and refuge in Italy. The problem is that most of those who sail and stay here for a year, two, three at our expense do not run from anything. I want to make a clear distinction between migrants and non-migrants.

– What can Italy do to stop sending boats with migrants? Build houses in Libya or pay Libya or traffickers?

“To make a united Europe remember that it is one.” Europe paid 3 billion euros to solve the problem of migrants, then another 3 billion euros to Turkey. It is necessary to invest and control the southern borders of Europe and at the same time invest in the economy of North Africa.

– What will happen if nothing is decided in Brussels?

– Italy’s contributions to the European budget are increasing by 6 billion euros every year, and now the budget of Europe for the next 7 years is just being discussed. We have something to say about this.

– One of the main topics on which you never changed your mind, a turn towards Russia – how do you see it?

“A government has come to power that wants to do what it promised during the election campaign.” Sanctions against Russia are useless and harmful. Point. We are ready to move from words to deeds, but in Europe we are almost alone like this: alone against the whole world. Every time we start talking about Russia, we are accused of being financed by Putin, that Russian hackers, Russian bankers are working for us. I believe that Russia, Italy and the EU should speak with each other, trade, and cooperate in the field of economics and the fight against terrorism.

– What can Italy do? We are all realists: to lift sanctions, you need 2/3 of the vote or veto.

– By the example of migrants, we have already demonstrated that when it comes to matters of principle to us, we can say no.

– But in fact, in Brussels, are they preparing to extend the sanctions?

– They already extended one package in a hurry, without waiting for the Italian government to form its position. This semester, the President of the European Union is Austria, our friend. We’ll see. I repeat, the numbers indicate that sanctions against Russia do not work.

“Are you ready for a veto?”

– I will not take away the work from our prime minister, but we are in solidarity and hope that we will be convincing! We will see!

– You left the Russian market in just one day. How much does it take to conquer it again?

– But this is a problem. Because Russia took preventive measures and replaced Italian suppliers with its own, invested in its agriculture. I believe that the “Made in Italy” brand has not been forgotten yet, and we will try to compensate for the lost years of cooperation. It will not be easy, but we will do our best.

– Your allies in Europe, who are they?

– This is Austria, with the authorities of which we recently met, several more countries. Of course, in Europe they are used to the fact that Paris, Berlin and Brussels decide everything, but we will see.

– Last question. You will have a summer vacation. You have taken that pace.

– I head the ministry, which is responsible for the country’s security, which means there are no days off and holidays. I hope to spend several hours with my children, at least on weekends, this is sacred. But I made my choice. I hope that there will be no emergency situations and there will be no emergencies.

– Thank you very much for the interview and see you soon!

– Thank!

earlier, the Vesti.Ekonomika portal, Matteo Salvini and the deputies of the League of the North Party initially opposed sanctions against Russia. The current head of the Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs was one of the first among European politicians to visit Crimea after joining Russia following the referendum, expressing respect for the choice of residents of Sevastopol and the Crimean peninsula.

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