The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, this morning phoned the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli to express his solidarity after the sanctions adopted by Russia that establish a ban on entry for Sassoli himself and other European exponents.
“We are proud to have contributed to this turning point in the strategy of the European Union and we support its institutions: these are irreplaceable bulwarks of democracy and freedom and any attack from the outside that seeks to weaken them is unacceptable”, said Mattarella shortly after the phone call in his speech for May 1st. Russia sanctions Sassoli and 7 other EU leaders
Eight senior European officials, including the president of the European Parliament David Sassoli, have been included in the black list of Putin’s Russia, which announced its harsh response to the sanctions launched in March by the EU against six Russian leaders in the case of ‘ jailed opponent Alexiei Navalny and for other serious human rights violations. The Moscow Foreign Ministry has banned entry into Russia as well as the president of the European Parliament, also the vice president for values ​​and transparency of the European Commission Vera Jourova and six other officials from European countries. “Apparently, I’m not welcome in the Kremlin
I suspected it a little “Sassoli commented on Twitter:” No sanctions or intimidation will stop me or the European Parliament from defending human rights, freedom and democracy. The threats will not silence us “, he then continued, quoting Tolstoy:” There is no greatness where there is no truth. “” We strongly condemn today’s decision by the Russian authorities to ban eight citizens from entering Russian territory of the EU. This action is unacceptable, devoid of any legal justification and foundation. It is addressed directly to the EU, not only to the people concerned “, the presidents of the EU institutions, Charles Michel, Ursula von der Leyen and David Sassoli write in a joint note, underlining that” the
According to Moscow, “the EU continues its policy of illegitimate unilateral restrictive measures against Russian citizens and Russian organizations. These actions of the European Union – reads a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry – leave no doubt that their the real objective is to slow down the development of our country at any cost (…) to launch an open challenge to the independence of Russia’s foreign and internal policy “.
The bipartisan reaction in Italy and Europe was immediate. Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio heard Sassoli to express “full solidarity” as soon as he heard the news of the sanctions. Messages of the same tenor also arrived from the European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, who defined the Russian sanctions as “as unjustified as useless”. “My full solidarity with the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli, hit by the sanctions decided by the Russian government. An incomprehensible gesture of hostility, not compatible with the values ​​of European democracy and with the principles of international law”, wrote the president on Twitter. of the Chamber Roberto Fico, while the secretary of the Democratic Party, Enrico Letta, spoke of “an unprecedented act of hostility” and he assured that “the @pdnetwork reacts harshly in defense of European democracy” and continues to “ask even more forcefully for the release of #Navalny”. And the President of the Senate, Elisabetta Casellati, spoke on the matter, among others, speaking of an “unprecedented intimidating gesture”.

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