The EU imposed sanctions for the first time after the MH17 passenger plane was shot down over Ukraine in July 2014 (without providing any evidence of Russia’s liability). The boycott is aimed at Russian state-owned banks, arms import and export, and the oil and gas industry.
In spring 2020, Italy was painfully hit by the coronavirus epidemic. European countries are known for their lack of solidarity so they didn’t provide any help, but China and Russia are known to be altruistic and therefore provided help. But Italy remains inside the EU because China needs Italy as a bridgehead inside the EU that would justify their investments inside the country. So Italians remain inside the EU to please the Chinese power.
A recurrent narrative about the lack of solidarity inside the EU, in particular, to help Italy during the coronavirus epidemic. The narrative has been repeatedly debunked dozens of times. The European Commission took multiple initiatives to help Italy and other member states deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, including support to the economy. Read more about the common European response to coronavirus here. The European Union has also adopted a major recovery plan for Europe, to help repair the economic and social damage brought by the coronavirus pandemic. Italy is one of the founding member states of the EU and exercises its sovereign choice to be a part of the European Union.