“Italy and Russia: New Alignment or More of the Same?”, Nona Mikhelidze (IAI, Italy)

Nona Mikhelidze, Italy and Russia: New Alignment or More of the Same?, IAI Commentaries, 19:28, IAI, April 2019.

The 2018 parliamentary elections in Italy marked a spectacular victory for populist parties – the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (MoVimento 5 Stelle – M5S) and the right-wing anti-migrant League party –, reflecting rising nationalist and anti-EU sentiments in a key European country and a founding member of the EU. The electoral rhetoric of Italy’s two populist parties appeared close to Russian desiderata, even a sort of lullaby song for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Moscow has long encouraged nationalist and anti-EU forces in a not so subtle effort to enhance Russian soft power while working to erode trust and cooperation among EU member states.

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