US warns Italy on China, Russia

Marquis voices concern on BRI, Russian 'incursions'

(ANSA) - Washington, April 3 - The United States on Wednesday warned Italy on giving China and Russia undue influence in its economic and political activities.
    Italy is a special concern after signing a memorandum of understanding on China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or 'new Silk Road', US National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis told ANSA.
    "We are warning many countries to be aware of the risks posed by supporting the Belt and Road Initiative, especially those who are actively seeking direct foreign investment. But Italy is a special concern because it is a strong ally and a member of the G7," he said.
    "Pressuring Italy to sign the BRI, China seems to believe that Italy is economically vulnerable or politically manipulatable", he said.
    Marquis also said that the US wanted Italy to watch out for Russian interference on the eve of NATO's 70th anniversary.
    "The US is counting on Italy as one of its strongest allies and keeps communications open with a broad range of actors in the Italian government," he said.
    "We see that Russia is creating incursions in the Italian political landscape and we strongly encourage Rome to take these activities seriously".
   

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