Italy and Russia: Strained relations

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Italy and Russia


Italy is attempting to straddle the widening rift between the West as well as Russia



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LEADERS of the European Union will meet on March 19th to discuss tightening the economical sanctions they imposed on Russia  a year past after its annexation of Crimea. One state which is not keen for new sanctions is Italy, which is not comfortable with the schism between the West as well as Russia. Matteo Renzi, Italy's prime minister, would like to bring Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, back into the fold. His motives are national and geopolitical, and rooted in history.

During the cold war, Italian authorities (headed by the Christian Democrats for the best part of four decades from 1945) were steadfastly pro American. But the Communist Party in Italy was not weak; its leaders really resided in the Soviet Union. An Italian industrial giant, Fiat, constructed factories there. After 1989 Russian …<div course="og_rss_groups"></div>