Sanctions against Russia: Geopolitica.info interviews senator Sergio Divina

Geopolitica.info continues its report on the political and economic effects originating from the sanctions against Russia. We have discussed about such diplomatic impasse with sen. Sergio Divina (Lega Nord) deputy President of the Defence Committee and member of the Italian delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Sanctions against Russia: Geopolitica.info interviews senator Sergio Divina - GEOPOLITICA.info

Senator Divina, your party has sharply criticized the use of sanctions by US and EU against Russia, in retaliation for the crisis in Ukraine. The controversy was strongly emphasized especially after the journey in Crimea of the Secretary of the Lega Nord party, Matteo Salvini.What is your opinion on the choice of the Renzigovernment?

Negative, I could not express myself otherwise. This choice has affected a geopolitical area too close to Italy to be taken with the political “lightness” that led to it.Remember that although Russia seems relatively far from our borders, Italy – and much of Western Europe – are closely linked because of their energy interdependence.Our country, particularly, for its heating networks uses Russian gas for 49%. Once we were guaranteed by a substantially bilateral dependence, but now Russia can use an alternative sales channel like China, which shifts the balance of power in its favor.

Your party has placed the issue of the economic impact of sanctions on Italy thatcould translate into a negative balance of domestic exports at a time of severe economic crisis for our country.Sace estimated it to be 2.4 billion euro in two years.Which sectors, from your point of view, are likely to suffer the most serious losses?

Unfortunately the impact involvessome sectorsalready in difficulty, butthat thanksto the Russian markethad so far been ableto withstand the pressuresof the economic crisis. I referto meat and dairy tradingand to agrifood.Forsome kind ofheterogenesis of ends, it is the first timethat the negative effectsof the sanctionsare notenduredmainlyby the sanctioned State, but especiallybysome of the sanctioning States(with Italy at the top of the list).

Regarding the negative economic consequencesof this choice, do you believe that Italy can get a reinforcement of its position in strategic terms by supporting the sanctions? And, more generally, what results do you believe sanctions can produce, in the short and medium term, in the relations between the Western world and Russia?

It seems to methatthe strategic advantagesforItalyarenot easily detectable, becausethe choice of sanctions isthe resultof a chain oferrors thathasits origin in thesubservienceof our countryto the interestsof the United Stateson one sideand of Germanyto the other.However, even assuming abroader perspectivethanthe national one, thestrategy implementedagainst Russiaseemshardlyintelligible. We arecurrentlyin the presenceof aterrorist threatthat, differently from the past, is being consolidatedin the form ofa realstate(with its boundaries, population, laws andeconomic resources), that not onlydeclares warto theabstract concept ofthe West butalsomakes explicit referencesagainstRome. Why do notengagealso Russia in the fightagainstthis danger? Let us not forgetthat the interventionof Russia, a few months ago,alreadypreventedthe US tooverthrow, by military forces, the regime ofBashiral Assadin Syria, whichwould have meant thedelivery of the entireSyrianarmyinto the handsof the Isisand the creationa”new Afghanistan”.

In conclusion, do you think that Russia could be really involved in a broad strategy for the fight against international terrorism?

I am convinced.Moscowstill hasserious internal problemswithIslamic terrorismand itssouth-eastern bordersare likely to bedestabilizedby the strengtheningof thejihadist movements. MoreovertheIsis,for the first time, seems to providean establishedand efficient organization to the galaxyofIslamist cellsspread throughout theworld, which could end uprecognizingthe authority of theCaliphAlBaghdadi. Therefore, the wider thecoalition, the more effective the responseto the threat will be.