Others have a decidedly different attitude toward Russian political meddling. In Italy, where an indecisive election has yet to produce a new government, the outgoing leadership expelled two diplomats. But Matteo Salvini, leader of the pro-Russian, nativist Northern League and a potential prime minister, angrily criticized this decision, as did the leader of a smaller far-right party, another possible member of a future coalition, who declared it “unacceptable that a caretaker government has expelled two staffers at the Russian embassy.”
In Greece, where both the far-left ruling party and its far-right coalition partners (yes, it’s an odd combination) have deep links to Russia, no diplomats have been expelled. The same is true in Austria, where the ruling coalition includes the far-right Freedom Party, which — of course — has Russian links, as well.
Almost everywhere, in other words, the reaction to the Skripal case reflects the strength of Russian influence in local politics (or a determination to reject that influence).