Meet Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, 76 years old, 40 as a diplomat. He’s been ambassador to Israel, permanent representative to the United Nations, ambassador to the United States and foreign minister in Mario Monti’s government. Now he is in politics, alongside PM hopeful Giorgia Meloni, as head of diplomatic relations for Brothers of Italy and candidate to the Senate.
- As polls have it, Ms Melon’s centre-right coalition will win the next elections and form Italy’s next government. So we extrapolated the key issues from his interview to our sister site, Formiche.net, to give you a sense of the party’s stance on today’s driving issues in foreign policy.
On the Russian war in Ukraine. “Italian diplomacy must act with the European and Atlantic partners to keep them on the right side of history. Faced with an aggressor that doesn’t want to negotiate until he has achieved all of his neo-imperialist objectives, the only way to reach the negotiation stage is to stand in the way of achieving them.”
On Vlaidmir Putin and negotiation. “To my knowledge, Putin has no intention of negotiating with us,” since “he hasn’t achieved his goals yet. He traditionally negotiates only when he has already taken everything he wanted.” Perhaps, as he endangered the European space of freedom and security, “he is now realising that […] he’s bitten off more than he can chew.
On energy and the European price cap. “European cohesion is growing […] the hesitations of France and Germany have been overcome, and the countries are marching together along a line which the Italian government had even anticipated with the far-sighted request of implementing the price cap last March.”
- “Going at it alone is not an option,” as it would “inevitably” entail reverting to buying Russian gas for every State. It is “unimaginable,” he added, at this juncture – when the hard work and sacrifices of companies and families […] is “blunting Putin’s weapons.”
On China and the Silk Road. Mr Terzi called for a “thorough review” of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative, signed in 2019 by Giuseppe Conte’s first government, and “close consultation with European and Atlantic partners, in order to rebalance the weights with Beijing.”
On the Iranian nuclear deal. Asked about the hypothesis of Iran’s return to the oil and gas market to alleviate the European Union’s energy crisis in exchange for the restoration of the JCPoA nuclear agreement, Mr Terzi commented it is a “very bad deal.”
On Atlanticism, Europeanism and defence. “If we look at security, Atlanticism and Europeanism are two closely related dimensions in the vision of a party like Brothers of Italy.” He pointed at examples such as “the defence industry and the hundreds of different products that should [be replaced by] few integrated types of weapons.”
- Such integration “would make European countries stronger,” even if individual countries should increase defence spending, he said. “At any rate, “these efforts are political rather than financial: the truth is that us Europeans’ lack of attention towards defence has been a huge political mistake, considering the unfortunate, increasingly tense international scenario.”
- “The integration of defence structures is an inescapable common European path, even though we are solidly embedded within the Atlantic Alliance […] we must quickly make up for the lost time.”