Moscow v. Rome. Italy cannot mediate between Russia and Ukraine to achieve peace because Rome “is helping the bloody regime in Kyiv” and has an “aggressive anti-Russian” posture. Thus Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, commented on the suggestion of the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, according to which Rome would be willing to become “a guarantor” of the peaceful resolution of the conflict.
- According to Zakharova, “it is strange to hear proposals for mediation from countries which, since the very beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine, have taken an unequivocal and very aggressive anti-Russian position and not only supported the bloody regime in Kyiv but also provide him with significant military and technical assistance.”
- These are “irresponsible actions” that “not only multiply the number of victims (…) but drag the NATO countries into a direct military confrontation with Russia,” she added.
- “However, Kyiv’s Western sponsors, unfortunately including Italy, are not thinking of stopping, but on the contrary, are increasing supplies,” argued the spokeswoman. Given Italy’s position, “we cannot consider it (…) as a possible guarantor of the peace process,” she added.
Not the first time. Not for the first time, Ms Zakharova has criticised Italy. A few weeks before the Italian election in September, she commented on Telegram Italy’s energy savings plan in a conspiracy-filled post that sought to undermine the Italians’ support for the sanctions imposed on Russia, along with the unity of the Western front.
- In his end-of-year speech, Italian President Sergio Mattarella 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.
- In mid-December, PM Meloni said military aid is “necessary” to assist the Ukrainian people. Defence Minister Guido Crosetto also touched on how the government would deliver additional military assistance if need be, and promised to work towards 2% of GDP in defence spending.