Home » Italy commits to strengthening Ukraine’s air defence capabilities

Italy commits to strengthening Ukraine’s air defence capabilities

The Minister of Defence appeared before the intelligence committee to discuss the new aid package to Kyiv, which includes a Samp-T battery. Once again, Russia has attempted to influence Italy's decision-making process

Italy approves Ukraine aid. The hearing for Minister of Defense Guido Crosetto at Copasir today is the final step before the publication of the ninth aid package in the Official Gazette, which includes military assistance to Ukraine.

  • The contents of the package, which is the fourth approved by the government led by Giorgia Meloni, are still classified, as in previous cases.
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani stated during a hearing at the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Chamber and Senate that the only known aspect of the package is the provision of an air defensive battery Samp-T, the second provided by Italy. He added, “We are convinced that it is essential to strengthen Kyiv’s defensive capabilities by providing the military aid it needs.”

Resistance to long-range missiles. With this response, Minister Tajani could avoid a question about the possibility of sending long-range missiles, such as the Storm Shadow, to Ukraine.

  • The Italian government has consistently opposed sending troops to Ukraine and using Western weapons to attack Russian territory.
  • However, by sending the second Samp-T battery, Italy has shown its commitment to defending Ukraine from Russia’s invasion, specifically in air defence.

Pledge of ongoing support. Italy has promised to continue supporting Ukraine for “as long as necessary,” as PM Meloni declared two weeks ago at the peace summit in Switzerland.

  • A few days earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Sky TG24 that “relations with Italy have become stronger” and expressed positive feelings about the G7 chaired by Italy this year. 
  • In February, the two leaders signed a ten-year security cooperation agreement between Italy and Ukraine.

Russian interference criticised. The ninth Italian aid package has not been immune to attempts of Russian interference.

  • In a recent Facebook post, the Russian embassy in Italy criticised Minister Tajani for continuing with the military aid package. They suggested that to address the current “difficult” situation (e.g., the Russian aggression in Ukraine), the focus should be on peace instead of war.
  • On the domestic front, Giuseppe Conte, leader of the Five Star Movement, has capitalised on the “pacifism” trend during the election campaign leading up to the European elections. He has criticised the French decision to send fighters and trainers and has attempted to divide the governing majority.
    • Conte also criticised Matteo Salvini, leader of the Lega and a proponent of “peace.” According to Conte, Salvini “has backed all weapons deliveries in Italy and Europe while claiming to fight for peace.

Subscribe to our newsletter