Disinfo: Italy tightened sanctions on the Russian people


The Italian government accepted tougher sanctions against the friendly Russian people.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that sanctions against Russia aim to punish the Russian people. Opposite to these claims, sanctions were, in fact, introduced to send a clear signal to the Russian government after Russia's illegal annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula and the downing of the Malaysian passenger plane MH17.

The first round of EU sanctions against Russia was introduced on 17 March 2014. Later, in view of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in eastern Ukraine, the EU imposed economic sanctions in July 2014 and reinforced them in September 2014. The latest decision on a six-month extension of EU sanctions against Russia, which Italy also took, was on the 13th of March 2020 and extended the measures until 15 September 2020.

The EU and its member states have maintained a clear policy of reaching out to Russian society and youth, mainly through the Erasmus+ student exchange programme and other people to people contacts, in line with five guiding principles of relations with Russia.

The EU remains ready to ease sanctions when Russia starts contributing actively to the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Read similar cases on EU sanctions against Russia are not democratic and that European Council sanctions are irrational and unjustified.


  • Reported in: Issue 191
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Italy, Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: European Council, European Union, Sanctions, Crimea, MH17


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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