Russian sanctions cost Italy €7bn and up to 200,000 jobs – Italian MP

© Stefano Rellandini
Moscow's response to EU sanctions hit Italy's economy hard, according to Italian parliament member from the Five Star Movement party Paola Carinelli.

"We have lost as much as €7 billion from the beginning of sanctions. The number of lost jobs could reach 200,000," she said at a news conference in Moscow, quoted by RIA Novosti.

Carinelli said the Five Star Movement has repeatedly appealed to the Italian Cabinet to lift anti-Russian sanctions, but "the government remains deaf to our requests."

Party colleague, Italian senator Vito Petrocelli, said, "From the beginning, sanctions were a wrong decision." According to him, the sanctions “pretty much violated the rights and interests of Italian companies."

"There is absolutely no benefit from these sanctions. Our small and medium business has no chance to work with Russian partners," Petrocelli said.

The Five Star Movement party has the third largest representation in the Italian parliament with 54 seats.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi criticized anti-Russian sanctions at an EU summit in October and spoke against their expansion.

“We should do everything possible for a peace deal in Syria, but it’s difficult to imagine that this should be linked to further sanctions on Russia,” Renzi said, as cited by Reuters.

In July, the legislature of the Italian province of Tuscany unanimously backed a resolution urging the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions. The region followed in the steps of Lombardy, Veneto and Liguria, who have acknowledged the right for self-determination by the people of Crimea, who voted to leave Ukraine and reunite with Russia in 2014.