Home » Moscow bashes G-7 chair Rome as leader of “anti-Russian HQ”

Moscow bashes G-7 chair Rome as leader of “anti-Russian HQ”

Ambassador Paramonov lambasted Italy’s role at the helm of the Group of Seven, accusing it of capitulating to the “Anglo-Saxon wing” and being “hostile” towards Russia. He then suggested that the country’s sluggish growth is caused by sanctions, adopting the usual Kremlin propaganda playbook months before the EU elections

Russia comes a-bashing. On Wednesday, Russia’s Ambassador to Italy, Alexei Paramonov, issued a stark warning to Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government during an interview with Russian State newswire Tass. As head of the G-7, he remarked, Italy “is actively claiming the role of ‘chief dispatcher’ of this leading anti-Russian headquarters of the collective West,” also due to “pressure from the Anglo-Saxon wing of this association.”

  • That’s supposedly because Rome has “fully adhered to the pressure measures exerted by the West on Russia,” with “open calls” for a “hybrid war” against Moscow.
  • Mr Paranomov also predicted that the upcoming G-7 meeting in Apulia will see a further tightening of sanctions against Moscow, with efforts to legally seize Russian assets.
    • France, Germany and other G-7 nations have so far opposed such attempts due to legal concerns and potential repercussions on the euro.
  • The criticism comes at a pivotal moment in the war in Ukraine. As the conflict nears its two-year mark, the West is grappling with internal discord, notably reflected in the challenges the European Union has faced and the United States is still facing in unlocking additional aid for Kyiv.

Kremlin-speak on sanctions, exports, ties. Ambassador Paramonov went on to suggest that Italian government officials are reluctant to acknowledge that the economy is suffering due to sanctions hampering trade with Moscow. Rome’s efforts to find substitutes for Russian energy products and raw materials is proof of this, he noted.

  •  In the interview, he defined Italy’s stance against Russia as “hostile” and suggested that ties today are “not much better” than during the Second World War, when Benito Mussolini’s fascist regime attempted to invade the Soviet Union..
  • He also lashed out against the eight military aid package for Ukraine that Italy has already approved, as well as Defence Minister Guido Crosetto’s claim that Rome is almost among Ukraine’s top five aid suppliers. 

Now what? The Italian government has not reacted to Ambassador Paramonov’s words, although Democratic Party Senator Filippo Sensi has urged Foreign Affairs Minister Antonio Tajani to summon Mr Paranomov, emphasising the need for Italy to send a clear message of solidarity with Ukraine.

The usual playbook. This is not the first time that Mr Paramonov, who had known Italy well during his stint as consul-general in Milan, engaged in targeted criticism against Rome to vehiculate Kremlin talking points. In September, he weaponised the price hike in energy bills to push similar narratives, and went as far as employing Pope Francis’ words to the same end.

  • He had been warning against “severe consequences” – and threatening then-Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini – if Italy ended up imposing sanctions on Russia even in his former capacity as head of the Europe department at the Russian Foreign Minister. 

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