Another smear campaign. On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed that Italy had supplied anti-personnel mines to Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry also noted recently that Rome cannot be a mediator as it “is helping the bloody regime in Kyiv” and has an “aggressive anti-Russian” posture.
- This isn’t the first time Ms Zakharova has criticised Italy for supporting Ukraine.
Italy’s response. “Italy does not produce anti-personnel mines and does not supply them to any country in the world, including Ukraine”, retorted Defence Minister Guido Crosetto on Thursday. Ms Zakharova’s statement is “completely false, unfounded and seriously disparaging to the honour” of Italy, he added, recalling that Italy had been a party to the Ottawa Treaty (which bans the use of such weapons) since 1999.
- In mid-December, Italian Prime Minister Meloni said military aid is “necessary” to assist the Ukrainian people – to the Kremlin’s dismay. Minister 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.