Italy has always had cordial, to say the least, relations with Russia. Cultural links between the two countries are stronger than many are willing to admit.
Even at the times of the Soviet Union, despite Italy being a NATO member, relations were not as complex as those that other European countries entertained with Moscow. This has been very much the case over the past years as well, and Rome is undisputable one of the EU and NATO countries that has friendliest relations with Moscow in both blocs.
Yet, some recent developments can put these relations under strain. Russia’s disinformation activities in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak have triggered a bipartisan reaction in Italy, and this one of the paradoxes characterising this relationship these days. I explain this in detail in my latest Eurasia Daily Monitor article on Italy and Russia.