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Opinion
Maria Tadeo

With Draghi Gone, Putin May Make Moves on Italy

The Italian political class has had a long, controversial dalliance with Moscow. This is not the time to rekindle that affair.

Putin and Berlusconi at a Russian wildlife reserve in February 2003.

Putin and Berlusconi at a Russian wildlife reserve in February 2003.

Photographer: ALEXEI PANOV/AFP

An uninvited guest from the cold north has turned up amid the heat of Italian politics. So, what to do with Vladimir Putin?

It is no secret that ties between Italy and Russia have been a little too friendly in the recent past, confusing allies and hurting Rome's credibility. For example, there’s Matteo Salvini of the League, who once showed up in Red Square dressed in a white t-shirt with Putin’s face on it. He has a history of downplaying the Kremlin’s hostilities and openly flirting with Russian nationalist parties.