The Italian-American analyst Umberto Pascali explains the presence of Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi at the Saint-Petersburg Economic Forum and the extension of EU sanctions against Russia:
Germany is beginning to work against its own self-interests.
While this process of economic suicide was very clear in Germany, in Italy it is not the same. The level of unemployment is such that every week thousands of companies collapse. There is no possible view of the future unless the sanctions against Russia will be eliminated. Some time ago, the prime minister of Bavaria, formally an ally of Angela Merkel, didn’t care and simply went to talk to Putin.
The longer the sanctions last, the more difficult it will be to put an end to them.
And this is a very important concept: sanctions cannot be automatic. I hope that sanctions will be eliminated formally, legally, de-jure. These sanctions are not just against Russia. The US is forcing Europe to comply and is killing Europe. So, I think there is now a movement of rebellion against this position on sanctions.
We do not want a policy of war and, in fact, we will de-facto restart economic relations cooperation with Russia. If France, Germany, and Italy do what the prime minister of Bavaria did, what Renzi is doing now, and create this push, then we are not going to have a war with Russia no matter what happens with the US elections. It would be very difficult not only to go to war with Russia, but even to go to war with Syria. Europeans didn’t have any problems with Syria before.