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The Meloni government in Italy promises to continue supporting Ukraine


As a new right-wing government takes office in Italy, its leaders are rapidly reaffirming support for Ukraine and dispelling fears that it could undercut Europe’s united front against Ukraine. Russia.

Antonio Tajani, new foreign minister and former president of the European Parliament, wrote on Twitter on Saturday that his “first phone call” on the job was to his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba.

“I reaffirm Italy’s full support for Ukraine in defending freedom and against Russian aggression,” Tajani wrote. “There is no peace without justice. And justice means independence of Ukraine”.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who was sworn in on Saturday as the leader of Italy’s right-wing government since World War II, has long expressed unwavering support for Ukraine. But questions have been raised about her coalition partners, including Silvio Berlusconi, the 86-year-old billionaire and former prime minister who is a longtime friend of Russian President Putin.

Last week, leaked audio recordings surfaced in which Mr. Berlusconi allegedly blamed Ukraine for forcing Putin to invade, and boasted that the Russian leader had sent him 20 bottles of vodka “and a bottle of vodka.” very kind letter” on his birthday last month. Mr. Berlusconi did not challenge the authenticity of the recordings.

Meloni’s other key coalition partner, Matteo Salvini of the anti-immigrant League party, once wore a T-shirt with Putin on and was so sympathetic to Russia that he had to deny accusations that he took the money. Moscow.

But Ms Meloni has sought to bolster her support for Ukraine and the Western alliance against Russian aggression, saying last week: “Italy, with us in government, will never be the weak links of the West”.

Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, congratulated Meloni upon her inauguration, saying on Twitter that he looked forward to “continued fruitful cooperation to ensure peace and prosperity in Ukraine, Italy and the world!”

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