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Italy opposes use of NATO weapons for Russia strikes

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (Photo by Reuters)

A suggestion by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that Western allies lift the ban on Ukraine's use of NATO supplied weapons against targets on Russian territory has been received with reluctance in a number of EU countries, including Italy.

On Monday, on the sidelines of a European Council meeting in Brussels which also had a session dedicated to the brutal Israeli war on Gaza, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani once again expressed Rome's opposition to the use of NATO weaponry on Russian soil.

We have made a commitment since the start of the Ukraine war.

We will make sure that the military equipment sent by Italy is being used inside Ukraine.

We are not at war with Russia. We are defending Ukraine's independence.

It is not Stoltenberg who makes these kinds of calls. It's a collective process.

Our goal is to reach peace. Against the backdrop of this stalemate, we want Putin to sit at the negotiating table.

Antonio Tajani, Deputy Prime Minister of Italy

Even Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who has so far been an enthusiastically staunch supporter of Ukraine, has stated she's against Kiev using Western supplied weapons for strikes inside Russian territory.

Meloni has warned that the West must be very prudent, arguing that Europe is not on the verge of expanding the Ukraine war.

Italy's other Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini also expressed this disagreement with the US-led NATO secretary general's position.

Italy is not at war with anyone and if it was right to help Ukraine militarily, then at the same time, it is out of the question to lift the ban on key to strike military targets in Russia.

I'm against sending even a single Italian soldier to fight in Ukraine. Stoltenberg should either retract his statement, apologize or resign.

Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini

Provided that every word said in the attempt to de-escalate tensions is welcomed, it must be said that Italian top officials' declarations also have to be read in view of the upcoming European elections.

All three of Italy's government coalition parties are facing electoral difficulties, and their leaders are perfectly aware that a large majority of Italians are against war, both in Ukraine and in Gaza.

Tiberio Graziani, Geopolitical Analyst

Also on Monday, Israel's brutal war on Gaza was touched upon by Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto following Tel Aviv's strike on tents hosting displaced people in Rafah, which has killed dozens of Palestinians.

Crosetto declared that the situation in Rafah is no longer justifiable and that all states have agreed that Israel has to stop, Crosetto also warned that sowing hatred will affect Israel's future generations.

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