December 1, 2020

Russian military transport aircrafts have landed in airport near the Rome accomplishing “humanitarian mission”. The inscription “From Russia with love” clearly shows the complete change of Kremlin’s strategy towards EU.
What is the nature of such political moves?
Russian humanitarian carriage was supplied to Pratica di Mare airport, where Luigi di Maio, the Minister of international affairs of Italy met Russian airplanes. He has never been so lavish in praises for Russians since his appointment and admitted that the friendly relations with Russia are completely justified.
It is quite significant that humanitarian carriage from Russia was sent to Italy using the most distant route, which let skip the air space of North and East European countries. Otherwise, Moscow had to agree the route of its military aircrafts with the countries, which face extremely aggressive policy of Russia and therefore would reckon the presence of Russian military air forces in their air space as the threat. The aircrafts, which supplied the staff and equipment to combat COVID-19, were military ones, though aircrafts of emergency services are usually used for such purposes. It is another evidence that Russian humanitarian aid for Italy is just sophisticated PR move. Besides, the number and assortment of Russian aid has almost no chance to change epidemiological situation in Italy.
Another essential point: due to Italian law, the arrival of foreign military servants to the territory of Italy is allowed only in case of special resolution of parliament. But now no one asked Italian parliament for this resolution.
The destination of Russian aid supplies is also not random one. In Italy the epicenter of pandemic is Lombardia, Veneto and Liguria regions.
The politicians elected in these regions have clear pro-Russian position and serially criticized the sanctions against Russia. F.e “North league” party and regional councils of Lombardia and Veneto have constantly criticized anti-Russian sanctions and received financial support from Russia in exchange. “5 stars” movement also supports Russia alongside with “North league” and the minister of international affairs Luigi di Maio is also one of the most prominent members of “5 stars”. Russia just has helped out its Italian friends.
The strategy of Russian government is simple and cynical at the same time — to enforce the position of those who demand the cancellation of sanctions and to show that Russian army is not the threat for Europe, likewise — it can supply critically needed aid in the right time.
The operation of Kremlin is humanitarian aid in exchange of support and loyalty in regards to alleged cancellation of sanctions.

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