Referendums in Lombardy, Veneto Italy’s Internal Affair – KremlinCC0Europe14:56 23.10.2017(updated 16:04 23.10.2017) Get short URL112620
The Kremlin spokesman has answered questions regarding the rise of separatist aspirations in Europe and Russia’s alleged meddling in other states’ affairs.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that non-binding referendums in Italy’s richest regions of Lombardy and Veneto are an internal affair of the country.
“The similar feature of Catalonia and those Italian regions is that… it is their internal affair. In the first case — of Spain, in the second — of Italy. Certainly, Russia has no intentions of interfering in the internal affairs of countries that we have good and advanced relations with,” Peskov told reporters when asked how he assessed referendums in the regions.
According to the official, Russia is interested in the European Union as “a united, strong, predictable and friendly partner.”
The Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto, held non-binding referendums on autonomy on October 22, seeking more devolved powers, rather than independence like Spain’s autonomous region of Catalonia. Over 95 percent of Lombardy’s residents and 98 percent of voters in Veneto supported greater autonomy for their regions.
These regions are not only the richest in Italy but also two of the wealthiest in Europe. Lombardy accounts for about 20 percent of the country’s GDP, while Veneto is third, providing the country’s budget with more money than they receive.
According to European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas, both referendums were held in line with Italy’s constitution.
On Meddling in Other States’ Internal Affairs
Peskov also commented on reports about the alleged visit of a high-ranking delegation from Moscow to South Africa before appointments in South Africa’s government.
“As a regular manifestation of such blatant Russophobia it has nothing to do with reality,” Peskov told reporters, when asked about alleged Russian meddling in South African affairs.
Russia has been accused of meddling in other country’s internal affairs for quite some time, especially after the November 2016 US presidential election, with Moscow repeatedly calling the claims groundless.
On Possible Meeting Between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump
When asked if Vladimir Putin might meet with his US counterpart Donald Trump on the sidelines of APEC summit in Vietnam, Peskov said that there was no schedule regarding the Russian pesident’s bilateral contacts.
“We will gradually start compiling a possible schedule of bilateral meetings, now however there is no schedule as of yet,” Peskov said.
The Russian and the US president have so far had several talks over the phone and one personal meeting during the G-20 summit in Hamburg, during which Putin and Trump discussed the Syrian crisis and other international and bilateral issues.