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Friday, December 9, 2022

EU country explains stance on military aid for Kiev

Italy won’t provide Kiev with new weapons, but will deliver on earlier promises, the defense minister said

Italy is not ready to send more weapons to Ukraine, the Minister of Defense told local media on Thursday, adding that Rome may still support Kiev militarily in the future.

Speaking to the Il Messaggero daily, Guido Crosetto, who assumed his post only last month, said that Italy is not “preparing a sixth [arms] package, we are not talking about missiles to be sent to Kiev.” 

According to the minister, Rome “is completing the deliveries of the military supplies promised by the previous government.” Crosetto also noted that in the future there could be “a discussion within NATO and the EU about further military aid to Ukraine.” 

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The official explained that military aid is delivered to Ukraine under a parliamentary resolution. “We have a framework that allows us to decide on military supplies until December 31,” he said.

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Crosetto also insisted that, despite the weapons deliveries, the Ukraine conflict could only be resolved through diplomacy. “There has been a need for peace and dialogue from day one of the conflict. I think the main goal is to stop the ongoing confrontation, to sit at a negotiation table,” he said.

The minister’s statement comes after an unnamed Italian official from the new governing coalition told Reuters on Tuesday that Rome is preparing a new arms package for Ukraine, which includes Franco-Italian SAMP/T and Italian Aspide air defense systems, as well as Stinger missiles.

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The subject of arms shipments to Ukraine has recently sparked tensions among Italian politicians. Over the weekend, the government sparred with the opposition after a massive demonstration in Rome called for a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

Former prime minister, Giuseppe Conte claimed that the government’s approach is “leading only to escalation” and called for negotiations to be stepped up instead. In response, Crosetto labeled him a “neighborhood bully,” insisting that Italy should carry out the decisions approved by the previous government, including those regarding arms supplies to Ukraine.

https://ift.tt/5gH4Wqw 10, 2022 at 05:27PM
from RT – Daily news

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