We got you. On Thursday morning, Prime Minister Mario Draghi called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He “assured that Italy will not recognise the outcome of the ‘referenda’ and confirmed the Italian government’s continued support for the Ukrainian authorities and people in all spheres,” reads a note from his office.
- On Wednesday, the Kremlin’s media announced that the occupied Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia had overwhelmingly voted to join Russia. Then, on Thursday morning, President Vladimir Putin signalled it would annex them on Friday, 15:00 Moscow time.
- The sham referenda carried out by the Russian occupiers have been roundly condemned and rejected in Ukraine, the West and international fora.
Continued support. Under PM Draghi’s leadership, Italy was at the forefront of the Western effort to counter Vladimir Putin’s aggression through sanctions on Russia and direct aid to Ukraine. He visited Kyiv himself, as did his Defence and Foreign Ministers. And the likeliest next PM, Giorgia Meloni, looks set to follow his path.
- On Wednesday, she told President Zelensky on Twitter that Ukraine could “count on our loyal support for the cause of freedom of [the] Ukrainian people.”
- Her lieutenant Adolfo Urso, who also chaired Parliament’s Intelligence Committee, travelled to Kyiv in September to assure Ukrainian officials of their party’s support and lay the groundwork for future collaboration.