October 15, 2018 / 10:00 AM / a month ago

Sanctions against Russia an 'absurdity': Italy deputy PM

FILE PHOTO: Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini talks to journalists after a G6 meeting of the Interior Ministers, the European Commissioner for Security and the European Commissioner for Migration to discuss security and anti-terror issues at the Groupama Stadium in Decines near Lyon, France, October 9, 2018. REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot

MONZA, Italy (Reuters) - Sanctions against Russia are a “social, cultural and economic absurdity”, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said on Monday, speaking to representatives of the country’s manufacturing industry.

Salvini — who is also head of the far-right ruling League party — said that many business leaders had asked him when the sanctions would be over, noting that Italian companies had been hit by the measure.

In June, European Union leaders agreed to extend their economic sanctions against Russia, prolonging curbs on doing business with the Russian banking, financial and energy sectors until the end of January.

Salvini added he would be in Russia on Wednesday.

Reporting by Lisa Di Giuseppe, writing by Giulia Segreti, editing by Steve Scherer

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