Russian embassy highlights Italian political ties ahead of vote

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Russian embassy highlights Italian political ties ahead of vote
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi pictured together in 2015. The Russian Embassy has published more photos of Putin with Italian political leaders ahead of the country’s election. Photo by ALEXEI DRUZHININ / RIA NOVOSTI / AFP

A sign of diplomatic ties or brazen trolling? Three days before Italy's elections, the Russian embassy tweeted photos of almost all the main party leaders with President Vladimir Putin.


"From the recent history of relations between Russia and Italy. We have some memories," the embassy wrote on Thursday, at the end of a campaign where the Ukraine war and Italy's ties with Moscow have taken centre stage.

READ ALSO: Italy's right confident of election victory at last rallies before vote

One photo showed Putin and former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi leaning towards each other, while another portrayed Putin shaking hands with a smiling Enrico Letta, leader of the centre-left Democratic Party.


Another showed Putin standing between anti-immigration League leader Matteo Salvini - a long-standing Putin admirer - former premier Giuseppe Conte, now head of the populist Five Star Movement, and ex-Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio, Italy's current foreign minister.

The last photo showed Putin smiling while shaking hands with former prime minister Matteo Renzi, now leading a centrist party - though Renzi looks a little uncomfortable.

The only major party leader not included in the photos was Giorgia Meloni, whose Fratelli d'Italia party is predicted to come out on top in general elections on Sunday. Her party was, until very recently, almost unknown and has never been in power.

Italy's current government led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi has been strongly supportive of Western sanctions against Moscow over the war in Ukraine.

READ ALSO: Salvini vs Meloni: Can Italy’s far-right rivals put differences aside?

Meloni has backed the measures, and the sending of weapons to Kyiv, but is fighting the election as part of a right-wing alliance alongside Salvini and Berlusconi, both known for their friendly relationships with Moscow.

Salvini has been highly critical of the sanctions, saying they are harming Europe and Italy more than Moscow.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also