Meloni and Zelensky touch base. The newly-appointed Italian PM had a telephone conversation with the Ukrainian President on Friday. She “renewed the Italian government’s full support for Kyiv within the framework of international alliances on the political, military, economic, humanitarian and future reconstruction fronts,” and “confirmed Italy’s commitment to every diplomatic effort useful for the cessation of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine,” reads a note.
- Ms Meloni also expressed her pride for the Italians’ solidarity towards the Ukrainian people who travelled to the country and called for renewing the Russia-Ukraine wheat export agreement, which she called a “fundamental” tool to avert a possible food crisis.
- Mr Zelensky replied by congratulating her on her recent election and later tweeted he was “hopeful for further fruitful cooperation. We discussed Ukraine’s integration into the EU and NATO. I told about the current situation in our country and invited her to visit Ukraine.”
Military aid and NATO talks. The two might have touched upon Italy’s sixth weapons package, which is rumoured to be in the works. PM Meloni’s government appears willing to keep its promises to the allies and Ukraine by greenlighting it. The authorisation is expected by the second half of November.
- On Thursday, she also had a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, to whom “she reaffirmed full support for Ukraine against the Russian aggression and the importance, in the perspective of a global approach, of strengthening NATO’s commitment to countering threats of various kinds from all strategic directions, including the challenges of the South.”
Readying the world tour. There is no official information yet on Ms Meloni’s possible trip to Ukraine, although rumours place it before mid-November. Today, however, her office announced her first international appointments:
- Brussels, Belgium on November 3, to meet the heads of the European institutions;
- Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on November 7-8, where she will take part in the COP27 summit of heads of State and governments;
- Bali, Indonesia, on November 15-16, to attend the G20 summit.
Hello, is this Belin? Following Sunday’s informal meeting in Rome with French President Emmanuel Macron and Tuesday’s telephone conversation with US President Joe Biden, PM Meloni also spoke with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday. “Both emphasised the strong partnership between Italy and Germany,” reads a note.
- The focus of the talks was the war in Ukraine. The Italian PM recalled “Italy’s commitment to supporting Kyiv on the political, military, economic and humanitarian fronts – aware of how the reconstruction of Ukraine represents a crucial aspect,” as her office stated.
- The two leaders then addressed the energy dossier, in light of the conclusions of the last European Council. Ms Meloni reiterated the importance of the steps taken at the European level and reiterated the urgency of arriving, as soon as possible, at concrete measures to reduce energy prices.
- The two also discussed European management of migration flows and the topic of economic growth.
Remember the Action Plan? Rome and Berlin announced a bilateral cooperation agreement back in January, hoping to sign it within July. However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the fall of the Draghi government postponed this dossier.
- The German-Italian initiative is not expected to carry the same weight as the Quirinal Treaty, the new cooperation agreement between Italy and France. It’s expected to be more limited, albeit more specific, in scope, the Faz explained.