Italian govt will urge EU review of sanctions against Russia, could wield veto says Salvini

The populist Italian government will ask the European Union to reconsider its sanctions against Russia this year and cannot rule out vetoing the sanctions, deputy premier Matteo Salvini said on Monday.

"In our opinion, sanctions don't benefit anyone, including the Italian economy," Sputnik International quoted Salvini as telling a press conference in Moscow, where he attended FIFA's 2018 World Cup final on Sunday.

"During this year in Brussels we will raise the issue of reviewing such an ineffective policy," Sputnik quoted Salvini as saying.

"We have already returned to good relations with Russia on the issues of culture, trade, industry and security," added Salvini, who is also Italy's interior minister.

An Italian veto on sanctions would be a "last resort", Salvini said, noting that Italy would prefer to "convince our partners with our arguments".

Rome wants Italian businesses to work with Russian companies, as well as to strengthen cooperation between the states on security issues, Sputnik cited Salvini as stating.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup was a great success story for Russia which also stands as an example for migration policy, Sputnik quoted Salvini as saying.

The EU imposed sanctions on Russia over its 2014 intervention in Ukraine, prompting Russia to respond with agricultural counter-sanctions.