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Ukraine: Mattarella reiterates legitimacy of defence (and NATO’s support)

In his end-of-year speech, Italy’s Head of State highlighted Moscow’s responsibility and trail of destruction. He remarked on Kyiv’s right to resist and stood by the Alliance’s response, calling to concentrate efforts so as to end the war in 2023

The Italian Head of State talks about Ukraine. “Our thoughts cannot turn away from the war that is bloodying our Continent,” said President Sergio Mattarella in his traditional end-of-year speech, highlighting that 2022 was defined by “the insane war unleashed by the Russian Federation.”

  • “The response of Italy, Europe and the West has been full support for the attacked country and the Ukrainian people, who are courageously defending their freedom and rights.”
  • “If [2022] was the year of the war, we must concentrate our efforts so that 2023 will be the year of the end of hostilities, of the silencing of weapons, of the halting of this inhuman trail of blood, death, and suffering.”

On Russia’s responsibility. Speaking of the immense damage the Kremlin has wrought on Ukraine, President Mattarella highlighted that “the responsibility falls entirely on those who have attacked and not on those who defend themselves, or those who help them defend themselves.”

  • “Let us think about it: if aggression were successful, others would follow, with other wars, with unpredictable borders,” he added. “We do not resign ourselves to this present. The future cannot be this.”
  • These words seem squarely aimed at the “pacifist” front – represented in Parliament by the Five Star Movement and the Greens-Left Alliance – who advocates against supplying weapons to Ukraine.

On peace and freedom. The Italian President remarked that the hope of ending the war entails “the rejection of a vision that turns back history, of an obscurantism out of time and reason. It is based, above all, on the strength of freedom. On the will to affirm the civilization of rights,” which is “rooted in the hearts of women and men” – especially the newer generations, he remarked, as testified by the women in Afghanistan and Iran “fighting for their freedom” and the Russian youths who “defy repression” to reject war.

Image: Rai 1

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