Italy allegedly managed to secure a carve-out of one of its biggest industries in the sanctions the European Union levied on Russia, The Telegraph reported Friday.
“Italian prime minister Mario Draghi successfully secured a carve-out for Italian luxury goods from the EU’s package of economic sanctions against Nato,” Telegraph reporter Joe Barnes tweeted. He alleged that “multiple sources” reportedly confirmed luxury goods were excluded from the package after lobbying from Draghi.
He quoted his source as saying Italy cares more about “selling Gucci loafers to oligarchs” than fighting Putin’s invasion. Barnes also noted that Belgium’s diamond industry was excluded. Italy denied Barnes’ allegation in a tweet on Friday.
Barnes also noted that Belgium’s diamond industry was also excluded. Several European countries have been under fire for their resistance to kicking Russia out SWIFT, a major international payment system, which could cripple the nation’s banks and ability to trade abroad.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned on Thursday that his country would not support such a move and neither would the EU, officials close to sanctions negotiations told The Financial Times. Spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit told Reuters that Italy and France also had reservations about the move.
President Joe Biden said the reason Russia had not been kicked out of SWIFT was due to opposition from some European countries on Thursday.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s minister of foreign affairs, tweeted on Friday that Italy had agreed to support Russia’s removal from SWIFT. Germany’s Finance Minister Christian Lindner said on Friday it was “open” to the move, but would have to weigh the consequences, Reuters reported.