Rome, January 8 – The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani, Italian Deputy Prime Minister, said that the sixth package of Italian military aid to Kyiv is still under discussion, before the start of new arms deliveries to Ukraine, the government will inform the parliament on this matter.
“The sixth defense package still needs to be finalised. As expected, no information will be delivered until information is submitted to Parliament,” the minister said in an interview published Sunday by Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“We are also discussing with the French to improve the supply of air defense systems from a technical point of view, which are based on the joint technologies of Rome and Paris,” he said.
In this regard, Tajani pointed out the importance of contacts with the United States. According to him, “negotiations with Washington are continuing and normal, we are an important interlocutor, but there was no talk of weapons.”
The White House said Thursday that US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan discussed the conflict in Ukraine, including Russian strikes on critical infrastructure, with Italian Prime Minister Francesco Tallo’s diplomatic advisor. In this regard, some Italian media indicated that Washington is pressuring Rome on the issue of supplying new weapons to Kyiv.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgio Meloni had a conversation with Volodymyr Zelensky on 27 December. He said that Meloni reported on the discussion of the transfer of air defense systems to Kyiv.
On December 1, Meloni’s government adopted a special decree according to which various assistance to Ukraine will continue in 2023, including the supply of weapons. The list of military equipment and equipment sent by Rome to Ukraine is classified. As previously reported by Corriere della Sera, “According to sources in NATO, at the moment Italy has sent weapons to Kyiv in the amount of 300 to 500 million euros.”
In late October, La Repubblica newspaper reported that Rome is ready to supply Ukraine with various air defense systems, including SAMP-T medium-range air defense systems manufactured in France and Italy, and Aspire surface-to-air missiles.
Russia has previously sent a memorandum to NATO countries over the supply of weapons to Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has indicated that any shipment containing weapons to Ukraine would become a legitimate target for Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that NATO countries were “playing with fire” by supplying arms to Ukraine. Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov said that the injection of weapons into Ukraine from the West does not contribute to the success of the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations and will have a negative impact.