Lega leader Matteo Salvini on March 23, 2024 in Rome at the meeting of the Identity and Democracy group in the European Parliament
Image: AFP

In 2017, the Lega concluded a cooperation agreement with Putin's party. After the re-election of the Russian president, Salvini said: “When a people votes, they are always right.” Now he is distancing himself.

DItalian Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister Matteo Salvini has declared the 2017 cooperation agreement between his right-wing national Lega and the Kremlin party “United Russia” null and void. The agreement with Putin's party was rendered irrelevant by the Russian invasion of Ukraine a good two years ago, Salvini said in an interview with the public television channel RAI2 broadcast on Tuesday evening. The war “completely changed opinions and relations with Russia,” Salvini said.

Matthias Rüb

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta based in Rome.

Before the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Moscow was “an important interlocutor for all Italian governments.” However, there were no joint initiatives between Lega and “United Russia” even before the de facto break more than two years ago.

Shortly before a motion of no confidence

The position of his party, the second strongest force in the center-right coalition led by Giorgia Meloni, was clear in all votes in parliament on Italy's support for Ukraine, Salvini said.

The deputy head of government's clarification came on the eve of a motion of no confidence against Salvini brought by the opposition parties, which was debated in the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday. It was considered unlikely that the motion to remove Salvini would receive the necessary majority of votes. After the presidential election in Russia, which was criticized as a sham election, Salvini said: “There was an election in Russia, we take note of that.” And further: “When a people votes, they are always right.”

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