New mediator

Increased contacts between Moscow and European leaders creates a fertile ground for the understanding of the parties’ position in the Ukrainian crisis.


March 5 Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi made his first visit to Moscow that Russian media was seen as a first attempt to break the blockade on the background of Russian Ukrainian crisis and the policy of containment of the West. Before coming to Moscow Renzi visited Kiev, where he held talks with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.


In Kiev, the Italian prime minister discussed with Poroshenko issues of compliance and implementation of the armistice agreement in Minsk, including items on the economic and constitutional reform. As reported agency Reuters, Renzi, after the meeting said that Ukraine had convinced him that it would continue to fulfill its obligations. Another topic was the economic recovery of Ukraine, for which Italy will try to “give maximum support” – in particular, with the help of Italian companies and banks quoted the words of Renzi agency ANSA. Also raised the issue of possible tightening of sanctions against Russia, wrote in his Twitter February 4 press secretary Poroshenko Svyatoslav Tsegolko, noted “Vedomosti”. Before leaving for Moscow Renzi Ukrainian President Putin asked him to release his call Hope Savchenko.


For Russia, the very fact of the visit of one of the Western European leaders – a good sign. So far only visited Moscow President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the framework of the Minsk peace process. “We have an active political dialogue. It is significant that on the eve of meeting with Vladimir Putin, Matteo Renzi visited the scene of the death of Boris Nemtsov, commemorating the Russian opposition. In the Western media covered the murder as a tragedy in many ways within the scope of direct or indirect responsibility of the Russian president.


Given the “nuanced position Renzi” in the Kremlin expected “thorough and useful conversation” about the crisis in Ukraine, cited “Vedomosti” presidential aide Yury Ushakov, announcing the visit of the Italian Prime Minister. Renzi proposed a “detailed discussion” EU-Russia relations in the context of the Ukrainian crisis, the problems of the Mediterranean region in the context of the Libyan crisis and bilateral relations “from space to the agro-industrial complex.” Italy is trying to fit into the peace process in Ukraine: the Italian prime minister has brought to Moscow concrete proposals that can address issues of decentralization of power in Ukraine. “Italy is actively involved in monitoring conducted within the OSCE. Italy is ready to provide all possible support within the structures of the European Union, including, perhaps, their experience, if we talk about decentralization of Ukraine. We have a wonderful experience in the region of Trentino – Alto Adige. This is an excellent example of how you can successfully solve the problems of decentralization. ” Trentino – Alto Adige – German-speaking autonomy in the far north of Italy, connected from Austria to Italy at the end of the First World War in 1919. Austria, as well as Russia and now in relation to the Donets Basin, for many years spoke of the violation of the German-speaking population. In 1969, Italy and Austria reached an agreement under which the region received broad autonomy, and in 1992 the German population had the right to receive education in their native language. Parliament elects the president of autonomy, two vice presidents and ministers, while during the term of office of an elected parliament as president of the region should take alternate representatives of the German and Italian communities. In addition, there are de facto inflated quota representation in the national parliament and special association with the Austrian Tyrol in the borders of the homonymous province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire For Russia, this experience may be of interest, but the political independence of Donbass is unlikely to be welcomed by Kiev.


Italian prime minister also interested in the problem of Libyan refugees who are forced to take Italy. “We have agreed with President Putin that both our countries should contribute to increased efforts in this direction. We agreed that the role of the Russian Federation, including in the framework of the UN Security Council, is very important – as, indeed, and to establish relations in the international arena with the special ties that exist between Russia and Egypt. All of this can contribute to stability “, – said Renzi.


Italy is interested in restoring relations between the EU and Russia, mutual cancellation of sanctions (from food embargoes affected the country’s agriculture). The interaction of the economies of Russia and Italy for decades institutionalized, and build on the strong corporate relationships.


Italian activation promotes mediation and work Federica Mogherini the post of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs. The visit of the Italian Prime Minister and fully complements the efforts of Germany, France, who were concerned about the risk of geopolitical expansion Ukrainian conflict in the event of deliveries to Ukraine US weapons. Increased contacts between Moscow and European leaders and creates a fertile ground for a better understanding of the parties’ position in the complex Ukrainian crisis.



World media monitoring









April 2016