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Italian PM to meet Biden to discuss arming Ukraine

Italian PM to meet Biden to discuss arming Ukraine

Rome: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is to meet United States President Joe Biden this week in Washington and discuss their shared interest in helping Ukraine defend against Russia, Associated Press reported.

The duo will also discuss energy, climate change and promoting global economic prosperity in the meeting scheduled on Tuesday.

However, in Italy, public sentiments are growing against supplying arms to Ukraine. Draghi is aiming for at least a limited truce to reignite talks, and he is also aware of the impact on Italy if the war is set to cross Ukraine's borders.

Further, Italy has historic political and economic ties with Russia. It gets 40 per cent of its's natural gas from Russia and has economic ties of 20 billion euros.

A Cold-war era Italian ambassador to Moscow, Sergio Romano, told AP, "There are two currents regarding Russia. There is the position of the countries that see in the war in Ukraine the possibility, or the hope, of the diminishment of Russian power. I think this current is strong in the US."

He said, "I don't think this is the position of the Italian government, which in the past has had cordial and positive relations with Russia."

AP reports, citing experts, that rising public sentiment against providing arms support to Ukraine is based on pacifism and fears of igniting a wider war as Italy is Ukraine's neighbour. War fears include nuclear war, too, since they have prior experience of the Chornobyl nuclear incident. The nuclear reactor blast had affected Italy also as nuclear contamination crossed borders.

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TAGS:Ukraine-Russia war Italy United States US President Joe Biden Chornobyl 
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