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Ukrainian headache for the Italian Parliament

Key resolution to be voted today in the Italian Senate to provide military help to Ukraine. While political parties in the majority are still working to iron out an agreement, geopolitical expert Ian Bremmer told Decode39 Italy “will pass this test.”

Any expectations? The vote in the Senate can have repercussions on the solidity of the government, and in particular on the future of Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, strongly criticized by his own party, the 5-Star Movement, who he once led.

  • But the resolution has already gathered support, in particular on five important points: yes to Ukraine’s EU membership; a radical revision to the European stability pact; financial help to families and businesses in need; countering gas prices; and strengthening the European Union.
  • Italy is currently 10th in terms of in-kind military aid commitments and deliveries, behind the U.S., Poland, the U.K., Canada, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Germany, and France, according to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal.

Much ado about nothing. Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, said the stakes for the vote “are not high.”

  • Last week’s visit to Kyiv by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, together with French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz “showed clear unity,” according to Mr Bremmer. “What counts — he said — is that Italy confirmed its support for Ukraine’s EU membership.”
  • “Italy will stay strong until Europe remains strong,” Mr Bremmer pointed out when asked about factions within parties and the future of Mr Draghi’s government.

5-Star Movement’s “immaturity”. Foreign Minister Di Maio has called out his own party for undermining the government’s efforts to support Ukraine and Rome’s leadership in the European Union.

  • “An immature attitude bound to create tensions and instability within the government,” Mr Di Maio said about the position of the 5-Star Movement.
  • Ukraine has become a major topic of discussion in the feud between Mr Di Maio and the party’s leader, Giuseppe Conte, a former Italian Prime Minister.

Italy, “please support us!”. Yesterday, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, renewed his call for help at the Global Policy Forum organized by the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) in partnership with the OECD.

  • Answering a question about the vote in the Italian Parliament and the role that Italy can play, Mr Zelensky said he is “grateful” to the assistance the Italian government is providing to Ukraine.
  • “Please support” Ukraine in protecting its sovereignty and independence, Mr Zelensky said as he pointed out the need to not only help Ukraine against Russian aggression, but, in doing so, also Europe.
  • “We need guarantors of future security and we think Italy should be among these guarantors,” Mr Zelensky said.

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