Draghi speaking to European Parliament inlcuyidng about Ukraine

Italy wants Ukraine in the EU and will keep backing sanctions, Draghi says


Italy is working to find a diplomatic solution to the Russian war against Ukraine, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said. However, the country is set to keep backing sanctions in the meantime, he told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Draghi also reiterated he is in favour of Ukraine joining the EU. “The war in Ukraine has shown the profound vulnerability of many of our countries with respect to Moscow,” Draghi said.

Referring to his own country’s reliance on Russian gas, he added, “Italy is one of the most exposed member States. Energy reliance like this is imprudent from the economic point of view and dangerous from the geopolitical point of view.

“Italy intends to take all the necessary decisions to defend its security and Europe’s. We have supported the sanctions that the EU has decided to impose on Russia, including those in the energy sector.

“We will continue to do so with the same conviction in the future”.

Related article: Italy agrees new gas deal with Algeria

Most serious crisis in EU’s history

Draghi also talked about how the war in Ukraine presented the EU with “one of the most serious crises in its history”. He further stressed it was a “humanitarian, security, energy and economic crisis”.

“As a founder country of the European Union, Italy believes profoundly in peace and is ready to work on the front line to achieve a diplomatic solution,” he said.

Draghi said he did not see the admission of countries that wanted to join the EU as a “threat to the European project” but, on the contrary, as “part of its realisation”.

“Italy supports the immediate opening of adhesion negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia… we want to give new thrust to the negotiations with Serbia and Montenegro, and guarantee maximum attention to the legitimate aspirations of Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo.

“We are in favour of the entry of all these countries and we want Ukraine in the EU”.

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