Italy not to take decision on sending arms to Ukraine until February
Italian media reports that Italian PM Giorgia Meloni is facing resistance regarding sending weapons to Ukraine.
Italy will not be taking a decision on the supply of new arms to Ukraine until next month in light of ongoing domestic political tensions, cost considerations, and military shortages, Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported on Monday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in late December that Italy was mulling sending air defenses to Kiev after a phone call between the two officials that saw Meloni underlining her government's "full support" for Ukraine.
Shortly thereafter, Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto questioned whether Italy would be able to provide the aforementioned air defense systems to Ukraine.
According to La Repubblica, Meloni is facing fierce resistance from her allies when it comes to having a decree on sending arms to Ukraine approved, namely her right-wing allies Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi.
According to sources from Salvini's League and Berlusconi's Forza Italia, the two officials do not have any problems with the decree.
An additional obstacle that is not allowing the decree to pass is the concern in Rome about depriving the Italian army of air defense systems that it could need, especially as it only has five missile batteries, two of which are already committed to Kuwait and Slovakia.
Moreover, the cost of the arms meant to be sent to Kiev is another concern in Rome, the newspaper reported.
Italy, under former Prime Minister Mario Draghi, managed to send Kiev five aid packages, which included weapons. Meanwhile, Meloni's government has been working for weeks to make a sixth delivery happen.
Meloni's Brothers of Italy party and its right-wing allies won the general elections in Italy in October, her victory marked the first of a neo-fascist since WW1 in Itay.
During her first parliamentary address, one month after a historic election victory for the far-right, Meloni assured Italy's support for the EU and NATO as she added, "Italy is fully part of Europe and the Western world," and that it would "continue to be a reliable partner of NATO in supporting Ukraine."
Zelensky is currently pressuring Ukraine's Western allies to increase the arms flow into Ukraine after the supply pool dried up a bit.