| 22 April 2024, Monday |

Italy’s Meloni reaffirms support for Ukraine in call with Zelenskiy

In a phone discussion with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Tuesday, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni underlined her country’s “complete support” for Ukraine, according to a statement from her office.

Despite disagreements on the matter within her rightist ruling coalition and conflicting public opinion, Meloni, who assumed office in October, has always supported Kyiv.

Meloni reiterated the Italian government’s full support for Kiev in the political, military, economic, and humanitarian spheres, as well as its efforts to rebuild its energy infrastructure and contribute to Ukraine’s future rehabilitation, according to her office.

In a tweet published earlier on Tuesday, Zelenskiy thanked Meloni for her “solidarity and comprehensive support,” and said Italy was considering providing Kyiv with air defense systems.

Last week in his address to a group of Western leaders, the Ukrainian leader asked for a wide range of weapons and air defense systems to help efforts to counter the Russian invasion.

In an interview with Reuters this month, Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto confirmed that Kyiv had requested air defense systems from Rome, including the Franco-Italian SAMP/T system.

The former government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi provided five aid shipments to Kiev, including military weapons, and the government of Prime Minister Paolo Meloni is preparing for a potential sixth shipment.

Tuesday, according to Meloni’s office, she “confirmed her intention” to travel to Kyiv and extended an invitation to Zelenskiy to visit Rome. Zelenskiy had just returned from his first abroad trip since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

  • Reuters