Home » Meloni lays out Rome’s foreign policy line ahead of EU Council

Meloni lays out Rome’s foreign policy line ahead of EU Council

No troops in Ukraine, but staunch support and a “qualitative leap” on shared defence. Condemnation for the Russian sham elections (despite what some gov’t allies said) and a path forward for the Middle East. Here’s what the Italian PM told Parliament ahead of a crucial meeting with her fellow EU leaders

Readying for the Council meeting. On Tuesday, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni appeared before both chambers of the Italian Parliament to lay out Rome’s foreign policy line. She will bring it to a crucially important European Council meeting, scheduled for Thursday through Friday, where Russia’s war in Ukraine and the Middle Eastern crisis are slated to be the central themes.

NATO matters… “Italy welcomes the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO and condemns any aggressive attitude of Russia toward these friendly countries, as well as toward the Baltic countries,” said PM Meloni. She also reiterated that Rome opposes Paris’ positions on sending troops on the ground in Ukraine, as it’s a “harbinger of a dangerous escalation, to be avoided at all costs.”

  • She then called for a “qualitative leap on the European defence front” in terms of resources. European countries must table the necessary funding, she said, calling for a “NATO composed of two columns – one American, one European – with equal weight.”
    • “Freedom has a cost, sovereignty has a cost, do not believe those who tell you that everything is free,” she added.

… and Russia remains in focus. EU leaders will “reaffirm our support for Ukraine,” said the Italian head of government, recalling her decision to hold the first G-7 summit in Kyiv on the two-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion. PM Meloni then remarked on the Kremlin’s bad faith on negotiations (“How can one sit at the negotiating table with those who have never respected agreements?”).

  • She also sought to express Rome’s “condemnation of the sham elections in the Ukrainian territories” and for the death of jailed dissident Alexey Navalny (“His name as a symbol of sacrifice for freedom will not be forgotten”).

The day after Salvini. Her remarks follow internal government tensions, caused by deputy PM Matteo Salvini’s comments on Monday that appeared to legitimise the Russian elections. “When people vote, they are always right,” he had said. On Tuesday morning, speaking to Radio24, the other deputy PM (and Foreign Minister) Antonio Tajani highlighted that the government’s position on Russia, the elections and Ukraine remains “very clear.”

  • “Each political force has positions that may be different, but there is no substantial divergence: Parliament is what counts, we have always voted the same way, the centre-right [majority] is cohesive.”

Over to the Middle East. PM Meloni said that “work would be done” at the EU Council meeting to reach an “authoritative position” on the Israel-Hamas conflict, aimed at resolving the war. Rome welcomes the change in the leadership of the Palestinian National Authority, “which we hope will revive the two-State perspective” – in which “Europe must play a leading role,” she said.

  • “We cannot forget who it was that triggered this conflict: it was Hamas,” she then stressed, lambasting those in the political world who are reluctant to admit as much – a position that “hides rampant anti-Semitism.”

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