Giorgia Meloni at the Crimea Platform. “Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 was a clear violation of international law and a glimpse of Russia’s aggressive intentions on all of Ukraine. Since then, Moscow has imposed its authoritarian model and violated the rights of the Peninsula’s peoples, first and foremost the Tatars.”
- The Italian Prime Minister addressed those words at Wednesday’s Crimean Platform Summit – created in 2021, before Russia’s full-scale invasion, to promote the peninsula’s return under Ukrainian control – through a video message.
We should have all known better. When Russia illegally annexed Crimea, declared PM Meloni, “the full extent of what was happening was not fully understood in the West. Or perhaps [we] were hoping that Moscow’s imperialist drive might stop there. We were wrong, and this should be acknowledged.”
Rock-steady support. “Dear Volodymyr,” – she continued referring to the Ukrainian President Zelensky – “we stand with you today, without hesitation. And we are here today to reiterate, emphatically, that Russia must end its policy of occupation and withdraw its troops. We will not tire of working to end the war and achieve a just and lasting peace.”
- In the same spirit, she added, “we intend to stand by your side to rebuild your nation,” including by organising another Ukraine Reconstruction Conference in 2025, with the aim of “giving a future of opportunity to the Ukrainian people and contributing to your economic and social rebirth.”
- “The future of Ukraine is a future of peace, freedom and prosperity. It is a future, in its territorial integrity, within the Common European House. For your heroic resistance is our struggle for democracy. Your freedom is freedom for all of Europe,” she concluded.