By Crispian Balmer
Jul 22, 2022
ROME (Reuters) – Italy will keep sending arms to Ukraine and back Kyiv in its war against Russia if the conservative bloc wins a forthcoming national election, the head of the most popular party in the alliance has said.
The far-right Brothers of Italy, led by Giorgia Meloni, has been one of the few Italian parties that has wholeheartedly endorsed Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s decision to ship weapons to Ukraine, even though it was in opposition to his government.
By contrast, Meloni’s two main allies, the League and Forza Italia, which were both in Draghi’s coalition, have been much more ambivalent, reflecting their historically close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The government collapsed earlier this week, opening the way for snap elections on Sept. 25 which polls suggest the rightist bloc will win, with Brothers of Italy the dominant force, meaning its leader Giorgia Meloni could be the next premier.
“We have always defended and supported the Ukrainian cause, not just because we believe in the cause, but also because Italy cannot risk being the weak link in the Western alliance,” Meloni told state broadcaster RAI late Thursday.
“(The West) needs to know they can count on us,” she said. “I would not tolerate any ambiguity on this point.”
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