Heading to the EU Council. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who will travel to Brussels and meet the other European leaders on Thursday and Friday, related to Parliament – as is customary – the positions and issues she will relay on behalf of the country. Representatives from all parties had their chance to expose their stances on such matters, including and especially Rome’s support to Ukraine.
- Things went down following the established dynamics: parties in the centre-right governing majority all supported the government’s line, with the usual quandaries, while the opposition tackled the issues from different viewpoints. Here’s what happened.
The League and Forza Italia’s sidenotes. While the speeches from the governing majority’s parties all supported the government’s line on Ukraine – total support, including sending weapons – two MPs took pains to point out their positions, reflecting their respective parties’ tendency to wander off track (albeit only verbally so far) when it comes to the war.
Massimiliano Romeo, a leading member of Matteo Salvini’s League, expressed his party’s “strong concern for the way things are going on the front of the war between Russia and Ukraine” and denounced that the “mediation initiatives of some countries are immediately set aside and judged not credible even before being carefully analysed.”
- That’s most likely a reference to China’s proposal for a peace plan, which President Xi Jinping brought metaphorically along in his current visit to Moscow.
- Although Mr Romeo did specify he “absolutely supports” PM Meloni’s stance of aiding Ukraine, he issued a veiled criticism by stating that “more balance” is needed within the Atlantic Alliance (and with regard to the US, Poland and the Baltic States’ positions) to avoid an “escalation.”
Maurizio Gasparri, of Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, instead warned of the risk of the collective West “throwing Russia in China’s arms.” He confirmed his party’s “total” support for Ukraine but lamented that Europe must “give itself a peace dialogue objective,” lest it “leaves Turkey and China the role of the planet’s negotiators.”
The oppositions’ diverging stances. As we previously reported, it does seem as if the main two opposition parties are split on supporting Kyiv. The Democratic Party (led by its new secretary, Elly Schlein) signalled its continuity in offering its total support, as did the Third Pole (Azione/Italia Viva), whose deputies even remarked on the importance of supplying weapons. Instead, Giuseppe Conte’s Five Star Movement reiterated its request to stop sending weapons and invited the government to work for the “immediate cessation” of the war – the usual formula.