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The League of Italy renounces its agreement with the ruling party of Russia

Italy’s co-ruling League party has taken a decisive step by disavowing a previously established accord with United Russia, the political powerhouse behind President Vladimir Putin, as League leader Matteo Salvini faces increasing scrutiny over his historical connections with the Kremlin.

Salvini, serving as deputy prime minister in Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing government, has long expressed admiration for Putin, often seen sporting T-shirts adorned with the Russian leader’s image. Despite his affinity for Putin, Salvini has supported sanctions against Russia following its incursion into Ukraine in 2022 and has endorsed the provision of arms to Kyiv. However, he has refrained from directly criticizing Putin. The five-year collaboration agreement between the League and United Russia, initially forged in 2017, was automatically renewed in 2022.

In a significant move, the League released a statement affirming that the dynamics of international relations have been dramatically altered by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Consequently, the party declared the nullification of the agreement with United Russia, citing the invasion of Ukraine as the catalyst for this decision.

This announcement comes at a pivotal moment as parliament gears up to deliberate on a motion of no confidence in Salvini, brought forth by the leftist and centrist opposition. They argue that Salvini’s refusal to renounce the accord with United Russia or to moderate his admiration for Putin renders him unfit for governance.

The League underscored that the collaboration with United Russia had not resulted in any tangible initiatives and highlighted the historical context of Italian governments fostering ties with Putin prior to the Ukraine crisis, accusing the opposition of hypocrisy.

While Salvini is expected to weather the storm of the no-confidence motion due to the ruling coalition’s substantial parliamentary majority, any defections from center-right factions could exacerbate tensions within the government.

The parliamentary debate is slated to commence on Wednesday, with the crucial vote anticipated to occur either on Wednesday or Thursday.

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