London, 10 May 2022 – The majority holding together the ‘unity government’ of Mario Draghi started to shake over sending weapons to Ukraine and on the impact of war led energy crisis. In the bilateral talks with US president Joe Biden in Washington the Italian Prime minister could not miss out on the pressure of the majority party 5Star contrary to arms to Ukraine and the stance of what polls say: 55.3% of Italian do not support sending weapons.
On the war in Ukraine Draghi led government could lose the coalition support and Italy could go to new elections in a political context seeing the far-right Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) as first party in the polls followed by PD and Lega. The political pressure on Draghi is high.
“I have to tell you – he said to Biden today – that in Italy and in Europe now people want to put an end to this massacres, this violence, this butchering that’s happening and people think about what can we do to bring peace. We certainly have to use any form of direct or indirect kind of communication, but is that enough? What can we do?”
“People think, at least they want to think, about the possibility to bring a ceasefire and starting again some credible negotiations that’s the situation right now. I think that we have to think deeply on how to address this. We will continue, you and I, to work on energy and security, especially food security which is now another issue we will talk later about what to do”, he said sitting in the Oval office with Biden.
Draghi said to Biden the war in Ukraine “gonna bring a drastic change in the European Union, we have always been close, now we gonna be much closer, and I know now I can count on your support as a true friend of Europe and of Italy”.
Draghi’s request for US support to speed peace process and negotiations in Ukraine comes as Biden signed a bill to speed up arms delivery to Kiev and US Democrats raised nearly 40Bln (39.8bln) dollars to fund arms exceeding the 33bln requested by the Congress.
No direct answer, then from Biden today, but a strong personal support and confirmation of historic strong US Italy relations: “I believe that a strong European Union is in the US interest for competition economically this is good. The thing that I most appreciated about you – Biden said to Draghi – is that effort from the very beginning to bring the NATO in the EU and to lockstep both”.