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Political Crisis in Italy May Halt Arms Deliveries to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Says

Sputnik News


MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The unfolding political crisis in Italy may spell a halt in arms supplies to Ukraine, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said.

On Thursday, the Italian Senate expressed confidence in the government, but one of the ruling coalition members, the Five Star Movement (M5S), refused to take part in the vote, thus reflecting their internal disagreements. Prime Minister Mario Draghi proceeded to announce his resignation after the M5S boycotted the vote, but his resignation was later rejected by Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who asked him to address the Parliament for clarifications on this situation.

"Now I doubt we can send arms [to Ukraine]. It is one of the many serious problems," Di Maio told Politico, adding that "the Russians are right now celebrating having made another western government fall."

Draghi is set to appear before the country's Parliament next Wednesday. Local media and experts project that his repeated attempt to resign could be on the agenda.

Di Maio reasoned that if the government does collapse on Wednesday, it will continue operating in a caretaker role with a limited range of powers, making Rome incapable of either signing new energy contracts ahead of the imminent cold months or sending more military equipment to Ukraine. Furthermore, the caretaker government will not be entitled to issue relief packages to the families in need or strike new deals on gas imports if Russia halts supplies.

In late June, the M5S was split over whether to continue sending weaponry to Ukraine. Di Maio left his own party, accusing its members of steering away from the principles of Atlantic solidarity.

He pins the blame for current political crisis on former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, claiming that the latter was trying to weaken the government in recent months. The foreign minister also recalled that Italy has to adopt a new budget for the next year, and, if the government is dissolved, snap elections will take place in fall, something that has not happened in Italy "for more than a hundred years".

© Sputnik

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