Ukraine, Meloni: “Italy does not hesitate to support Kiev and will not”

The premier in Kiev: “No peace that provides for the surrender of Ukraine can be true peace. At the moment, the sending of planes is not on the table, it is a decision to be taken with partners”

“I strongly wanted to be here on one of my first bilateral missions since the start of the new government. I wanted to do it to reiterate the Italy’s full support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression and to reiterate that Italy does not intend to waver in this affair and will not“. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said this in Kiev at the press conference with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

“We are almost a year away from the day that turned back the hands of European history by a few decades. The invasion that began on 24 February was supposed to last a few days, in the minds of those who moved it. Things didn’t go as they used to was expected because the heroic reaction of a people willing to do everything that must be done to defend their freedom, their sovereignty, their identity has been underestimated”, said the prime minister.

“It reminded me of the birth of the Italian state – he added – There was a time when it was said that Italy did not exist as a nation, that it was only a geographical expression. Then the Risorgimento arrived and Italy proved to be one nation: it’s a bit similar to what happens to you today.It was said that it would be easy to fold the Ukraine because the Ukraine was not a nation. But you have proven to be an extraordinary nation. In the face of the world, Ukraine has already won its battle to reclaim its identity“.

“Ukraine is paying a very high price – Meloni said – We saw it with our own eyes in Bucha and Irpin. I will do what I can to transfer this story to every Italian. The life and death of people are at stake, not abstract theories, and it is impossible to turn away. It is impossible and it would be very stupid to do so: here we have an attacked people and Ukrainian interests coincide with those of Europe. Those who think that by turning away, they will build peace are deluding themselves. Whoever turns away brings war closer. The Ukrainian people are fighting a battle for each of us, it is right that we do our part, also by working on solving the conflict”.

“We all want peace. But no unjust peace for Ukraine can be real peace – marked the premier – No peace involving the surrender of Ukraine can be true peace: it would be an invasion. Just as Russia’s victory would be an invasion. The defeat of Ukraine would be the prelude to the invasion of other European countries. Those who support Ukraine even militarily are those who work for peace”.

Sending fighters to Kiev? “When there is an assault all weapons are defensive. At the moment there is no sending of planes on the table, it is a decision to be made with international partners. We focused on anti-aircraft defense systems, Samp-T, Sword, Skyguard. The priority is to defend infrastructure and citizens” said the Prime Minister.

During the joint declarations with Zelensky, Prime Minister Meloni then explained: “We talked a lot about the topic of reconstruction, not only at the end of the war, now rebuilding a destroyed building is a sign of hope, it means betting on Ukraine. Italy is working on a conference on reconstruction to be held in April. We need a change of pace, we need to work from now, I think Italy can play a leading role with its strategic excellence”.

“In Italy – she added – the post-war period was a period of growth and development so much so that there was talk of an Italian miracle, I am sure that in a few years we will be able to speak of a Ukrainian miracle: this is the commitment that I undertake on behalf of Italy against Ukraine. The free world is with you, we are indebted to you and we will not forget you”.

When asked about the Kremlin leader’s words on Italy today, Meloni replied: “I don’t know if Putin’s was a warning but the time of Covid was another world. The world has changed after February 24 and it’s not a choice we made.”

A sudden blackout interrupted the press conference for a few seconds. Given the times of war, some journalists in the room stood up, frightened by the sudden darkness. When the light returned, which went out for a handful of seconds, in the absence of the simultaneous translation of the Ukrainian president’s words, the premier improvised a translator and reported a question from an Italian journalist in English, jokingly adding: ‘worker president’, and laughing at it up with Zelensky.