The Meloni-Zelensky call. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday night. The latter “expressed his gratitude to Italy, recalled the strong motivation of the Ukrainian army, and expressed confidence in its ability to repel Russia’s attacks in defence of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, also thanks to the assistance of Western States, including Italy,” according to an official readout from PM Meloni’s office.
- In a later tweet, the Ukrainian leader called it a “productive talk” encompassing “bilateral and international initiatives” and thanked the Italian “friends” for their support.
- The two also reiterated the need to pursue a “just peace,” a commitment made by the Italian PM when she travelled to Kyiv in a show of support. “The path to peace […] is the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from [Ukrainian] territory and our Peace Formula implementation,” stressed the Ukrainian President.
Think reconstruction. Mr Zelensky also expressed his appreciation for the upcoming Ukraine reconstruction conference in Rome, scheduled for April 26; he called it an “important opportunity to strengthen relations between Italian businesses and Ukraine.”
- The event will allow Italian institutions and companies, along with international partners, to present their plan to rebuild the war-torn country both through fast recovery efforts and medium to long-term projects encompassing infrastructure, logistics, energy, agribusiness and beyond.
The expert’s take. “Italy and the European Union are helping Ukraine significantly through support and rebuilding after Russia’s full-scale aggression,” said Elina Beketova, Democracy Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), to our sister website. Her visit to Kyiv clearly signalled to Ukrainians and the whole world “that the Italian government would continue providing Ukraine with broad support. It’s very crucial that Rome has confirmed to play a key role in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine, including through the international Ukraine Donor Coordination platform,” she added.