Draghi’s farewell might cost Ukraine. On Thursday, Prime Minister Mario Draghi officially resigned. He’ll stay on in a caretaking capacity until the elections in autumn. Meanwhile, his government might not be able to approve a slate of crucially important measures, including military and economic support for Ukraine.
Zelensky calls on Italy. The Ukrainian president thanked Mr Draghi via Twitter for his “unwavering support” to Ukraine. He also expressed his conviction that Italy would continue its support. But some, such as his advisor Mikhailo Podolyak, are less optimistic.
- “The traditional internal political struggle in Western countries should not impact unity on the fundamental issues of a struggle between good and evil, especially sending arms to Ukraine,” he tweeted.
What’s at stake? For starters, Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini was supposed to discuss the much-anticipated military aid decree with the Intelligence Committee. But the events prompted the latter to cancel the meeting.
- The list of weapons and assets is secret (so as to not inform the Russians of its contents). According to our sources, however, this could have been a quantum leap in terms of Italian support: the aid would have included heavy weapons and M130 armoured and tracked vehicles.
- It’s unclear whether the German PZH 2000 panzers (among the most requested by the Ukrainians to resist the Russian war of friction in the Donbas) were included.
All’s not lost. The government crisis and the early dissolution of the Chambers, at least on paper, should not affect the roadmap, which still depends on a bill that passed in March. Thus, Mr Draghi’s government should theoretically be able to continue sending military support to Ukraine – if the process does not fall victim to limbo.
However, that’s not the only form of endangered Italian support. The Army is still training Ukrainian officials (which is preparatory to their use of Western-supplied advanced weaponry), and Italy is still sending funds – €774 million so far, which makes Rome the eighth biggest donor worldwide. And finally, the green light for the Italian peacekeeping missions around the world in 2023 is still making its way through the Roman halls.