Italy Sees "Important Signals" for Starting Peace Talks between Russia and Ukraine

Wednesday, 10 January 2024

Italian Defence Minister Guido Crosetto states he has seen signals from Russia and Ukraine that it is time for diplomacy to pave the way for peace.

According to Reuters, Crosetto stated in parliament that the Ukrainian counteroffensive of 2023 did not produce the desired result and that the military situation should be viewed realistically.

"From this perspective ... it would seem that the time has come for incisive diplomacy, alongside military support, because there are a number of important signals coming from both sides," Crosetto said.

Crosetto explained that Russia is gradually demonstrating a willingness to negotiate and defend its economy, while Ukraine's position, in his opinion, looks less uncompromising than before.


"All of this must be taken into consideration on the path towards negotiations to stop the conflict and the subsequent process of normalisation of relations, not only of Russia with Ukraine, but also with Western countries," he said.

"In Ukraine, the domestic front appears to be no longer as united as in the past in supporting President Zelenskyy's policy, highlighting some divergences in the political discourse," the Italian Defence Minister noted.

Notably, during President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to Vilnius on Wednesday, he said that there was no pressure from partners to stop defending Ukraine and freeze the conflict.

Crosetto, a strong supporter of Kyiv and a senior member of Prime Minister Georgia Maloney's Brothers of Italy party, reiterated that any peace talks must clearly recognise Russia's aggression against Ukraine in February 2022.

"The full territorial integrity and recognised borders of Ukraine remain the goal of the entire international community," he said.

On Wednesday, the Lower House of the Italian parliament voted in favour of a resolution to continue military support for Ukraine.

Prior to that, the Italian Council of Ministers supported the extension for another year – until the end of 2024 – of the powers that allow Italy to provide military and military-technical assistance to Ukraine.

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