A council in Italy’s north-eastern Veneto region has voted to recognise the Crimea as a part of Russia and has urged Italy’s national government to abandon sanctions against Russia.
Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014
© Reuters/Scanpix

A resolution was carried by the council calling for the change and subsequent lifting of economic sanctions against Moscow which the council said are crippling the region’s economy.

“Our goods have been embargoed. With this vote, we want to send a strong message to the Italian government and the European Union to change the policy towards Russia,” said Stefano Valdegamberi who is from the separatist Northern league party.

He said his region had suffered severe damage from the sanctions against Russia.

However, opposition party member Graziano Azzalin condemned the vote saying: “ Veneto is a region and not a sovereign state, it cannot decide on foreign policy issues. This resolution will not have any effect, it is just propaganda for the Northern league.”

The Veneto region’s economy relies heavily on exports of its glass. Earlier this week Ukraine’s Ambassador to Italy criticised the councillors, calling on them to support efforts to achieve the return of Crimea to Ukrainian control.

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