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Italian politicians oppose allowing Ukraine to hit Russia with Western weapons

After NATO-chief Jens Stoltenberg called on NATO allies supplying weapons to Ukraine to end the ban on their use to strike military targets in Russia, several Italian politicians are voicing their opposition to Stoltenberg’s idea.
Deputy Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Salvini.
Deputy Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Salvini. Photo via
Italian politicians oppose allowing Ukraine to hit Russia with Western weapons

Jens Stoltenberg has called on NATO allies supplying weapons to Ukraine to end the ban on their use to strike military targets in Russia.

Stoltenberg’s clear target, though never named, is US President Joe Biden’s policy, writes The Economist, of controlling what Ukraine can and cannot attack with American-supplied systems.

This was reported by The Economist weekly magazine, which interviewed the alliance secretary general.

However, as noted by news agency Ansa, this idea has not necessarily received praise in Italy, as Deputy Prime Minister and League leader Matteo Salvini voiced his opposition to the suggestion.

“Italy is not at war with anyone, and if it was right to help Ukraine militarily, at the same time there is no question of even lifting the ban on Kyiv from striking military targets in Russia, just as I reiterate that the League is against sending even a single soldier to fight in Ukraine,” Salvini said.

In addition, Salvini added that ”we want peace not the antechamber of World War III.”

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said that “we are an integral part of NATO but every decision must be made collegially.” 

“Kyiv’s choices are Kyiv’s choices. We will not send an Italian military to Ukraine and the military instruments sent by Italy are used inside Ukraine, we work for peace. The messages that come from Russia also provoke a hybrid war that is fought, but we must always work for peace and lower the tone,” the foreign minister of Italy said.

Pro-Kremlin messaging in Italy

In the past, the right-wing Lega party and its leaders have promoted pro-Kremlin messaging in Italy. Party head Matteo Salvini has urged lifting Russia sanctions and strengthening ties, as have senior Lega figures like former MEP Mario Borghezio, ex-undersecretary Stefania Pucciarelli, and current Chamber speaker Lorenzo Fontana.

Lega likely still has a formal agreement with Putin’s United Russia party. They recently faced criticism for refusing to condemn Navalny’s killing,” explained Castagna. “While critical of Ukraine, Lega tries to avoid the topic because it is sensitive. But they still have all these Russian links.

In addition, senior Five Star figures like MP Alessandro Di Battista and co-founder Beppe Grillo spread Russian disinformation labeling Ukraine a “US puppet” and legitimizing the annexation of Crimea.

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