Italy’s both ruling parties - Movimento 5 Stelle (or Five Star Movement) and Lega (or The League) - recognize the referendum held in Crimea in 2014 but Rome continues to stick to the European Union’s line, which considers Crimea’s reunification with Russia to be a violation of international law, Five Star Movement member Manlio Di Stefano said.
"The Five Star Movement recognizes the referendum but the ‘government contract’ does not imply the recognition of Crimea’s status, which is why Rome continues to stick to the EU’s line," he said.
Members of The League, including its leader, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, have on many occasions said that the Crimean referendum was legitimate. Regional councils in the Italian regions of Veneto, Lombardy and Liguria, where The League has a majority, have passed resolutions calling for removing sanctions on Moscow and recognizing Crimea as part of Russia.
A provision emphasizing the need to remove sanctions is also included in the "government contact" of the country’s coalition cabinet. However, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in early June that the process would take more than a day since the sanctions issue was linked to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements aimed at resolving the situation in eastern Ukraine.
Italian Deputy Prime Minister Salvini told TASS earlier that Rome could raise the issue of recognizing Crimea as part of Russia.