Giorgia Meloni affirms in kyiv that sending combat planes to Ukraine “is not on the table” | International

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The Prime Minister of Italy, Georgia Meloni, has shown herself in favor this Tuesday in Kiev to continue rearming the Ukrainian Army, although she acknowledges that the possibility of sending combat planes to face the Russian invasion "is not on the table". Meloni, who has announced that Italy is preparing a conference for the reconstruction of Ukraine for April, has visited the capital of that country, where she has met and appeared together with President Volodimir Zelenski. The Ukrainian president took advantage of the joint appearance to throw several darts at Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister, a staunch supporter of Russian president Vladimir Putin and his policy of subduing Ukraine with arms.

“Berlusconi, I think, has never had his house bombarded with missiles on a daily basis. And, thank God, his partner from the Russian Federation (referring to Putin) did not drive a tank into his house and destroy his relatives and loved ones," Zelensky said in the presence of Meloni, whose government coalition includes Forza. Italy, Berlusconi's party. “She has not had to get up at three in the morning because of the blackouts to start doing laundry, making food for her children two days in advance because there may be no power for the next two or three days due to the great love of the brother Russian people”, added the president of Ukraine with a sneer. He believes that he and the former Italian prime minister will be able to speak on an equal footing once Berlusconi has visited Ukraine and checked the Russian "trail of blood". Precisely this Tuesday, a Russian attack has left at least six dead in Kherson, in the south of the country.

Before his meeting with the president, Meloni traveled to the towns of Bucha and Irpin. These are two enclaves on the outskirts of Kiev that were in the hands of the invading troops for a month and were the scene of intense fighting and crimes and abuses by Kremlin troops against dozens of civilians.

Meloni's trip, which came from Poland, took place in full hangover from the visit to kyiv carried out on Monday by the president of the United States, Joe Biden. That trip has been considered the biggest allied support for Ukraine since the full-scale Russian invasion began almost a year ago on February 24. Biden also overshadowed Meloni's presence in Poland, where he arrived directly after finishing his visit of less than six hours to the Ukrainian capital.

Although Meloni did not want to leave doubts about Italy's firm support for Ukraine's defense against Russian aggression, the much-vaunted friendship between Berlusconi and Putin continues to float in the air. The tycoon's outbursts defending the Russian military occupation of Ukraine continue to be the order of the day.

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Meanwhile, Meloni has not managed to scratch a meeting with the US president taking advantage of the passage of both through Warsaw. Poland is a key border with Ukraine and an essential bulwark for allies to continue directly assisting the Ukrainian military. Proof of that importance is that Biden is making his second visit to Poland in less than a year.

The role of Italy in the European sphere is not the same as the one it played a year ago with Mario Draghi at the helm. Only six months ago the famous photo of the train car heading to kyiv took place, in which the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, could be seen together; the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and the then Italian prime minister, Draghi. Now, in the private meeting held days ago at the Élysée between Macron and Zelenski, Meloni was not invited. The prime minister has not hidden her anger over that jug of cold water, although at all times, as during the visit this Tuesday, she has not wanted to sow doubts about her support for Kiev despite the pro-Putin dialectical circus starring Berlusconi. Meloni has pointed out that Ukraine defends "its freedom, its sovereignty and its identity" by facing the Russian occupation.

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