Published On: Mon, Jun 11th, 2018

Trump news: Italy’s Conte give backing for Russia’s return to G8 | World | News

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte took a clear swipe at the blow stating Vladimir Putin should be allowed back to the most exclusive club of world leaders.

Taking to the US president’s favourite social media, Twitter, Mr Conte wrote: “I agree with President Trump: Russia should return to the G8.

“It’s in everybody’s interest.”

This statement is set to stir relations with Italy’s European partners, which have so far opposed to any overtures to Russia.

But it may have helped in Italy gaining Mr Trump as an ally. 

Following the end of the summit, the US president said he would invite Italy’s new PM to the White House, praising him and Italians for the March 4 elections’ outcome.

On Saturday he tweeted: “Just met the new Prime Minister of Italy, @GiuseppeConteIT, a really great guy.

“He will be honored in Washington, at the @WhiteHouse, shortly.

“He will do a great job – the people of Italy got it right!”

Mr Trump had earlier called for Putin’s country to be readmitted to the group in the interest of world politics. 

Speaking in La Malbaie, the small town in Quebec that hosted the weekend’s summit, he said: “Why are we having a meeting without Russia in the meeting?

“Whether you like it or, and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run and in the G7, which used to be the G8 they threw Russia out, they should let Russia come back in.”

Moscow was suspended from the G8 in 2014, after it annexed Crimea. In 2017 Russia announced it would permanently leave the group.

Italy’s new government, which sworn in on June 1, had previously announced its intention to revise some of the EU’s sanctions against Russia.

Luigi Di Maio, leader of anti-establishment Five Star Movement and deputy PM said on Friday that those sanctions were harming Italy. 

He said: “I’ve always said that our country must remain within NATO, but the sanctions are damaging us.

“We are being accused of being russophiles but in reality we are just pro-Italy and we will head to Brussels to discuss everything we don’t agree with.

“The era of the ‘yes sir’ from Italy is over.

“We must say some ‘no’ from now on.”

And Italy’s other deputy PM, Lega’s Matteo Salvini, had previously met Mr Putin in Moscow and in 2017 signed a “collaboration agreement” with his party, a deal that the Financial Times described as “the Kremlin latest attempt to develop formal links with populist parties in Europe ahead of the elections”. 

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