It is necessary to “start to asking ourselves how to construct peace” in Ukraine following the Russian invasion, Premier Mario Draghi told a news conference in Washington on Wednesday after talks with United States President Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday.
But Draghi also stressed that it must be the “peace that Ukraine wants” not one that is imposed on it. “All the parties must make an effort to get to the point of sitting around a table, including the USA,” he said “The meeting went very well,” he added.
“Biden thanked Italy as a strong partner, a reliable, credible ally and I thanked him for the role of leadership in this crisis (the US has played) and the great cooperation that there has been with all the allies.” The premier added that Moscow could not take victory in Ukraine for granted. “Initially it was thought that it was a war with a Goliath and a David, basically a desperate defence that it seemed would not come off,” he said. “Today the panorama has completely turned upside down. “There certainly isn’t a Goliath any more. “What seemed to be an invincible power on the ground with conventional weapons has proven not to be invincible”.
Draghi also called on the EU to give a collective response for Ukraine’s reconstruction, saying Italy was ready to do its bit, but stressing that individual countries do not give the resources on their own. The Italian government has staunchly supported Western sanctions on Russia following the invasion and has given aid, including military support, to Kyiv, although there is growing unease within the Draghi’s broad coalition about the latter.
According to an Italian government statement, Draghi told Biden that “the ties between our two countries have always been very strong and, if anything, this war in Ukraine made them stronger. “If Putin ever thought that he could divide us, he failed. There’s no question about that,” he said. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, meanwhile, on Wednesday stressed the need to “relaunch a negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, above all to achieve a ceasefire”.