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Italy in support of Ukraine

Italy support of Ukraine

Italy condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine, which is a blatant violation of international law and humanitarian principles.
Italy highlights its unwavering support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, full sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognized borders and its proactive engagement within the Euro-Atlantic community efforts to support Ukraine.
In line with the priorities of our diplomatic action, we call on Russia to immediately cease hostilities, ensure safe passage to civilians by agreeing and respecting humanitarian corridors, and to refrain from any action that may affect civilian and critical infrastructures or nuclear facilities.
Italy also continues to call on Russia to engage in meaningful dialogue and negotiations aimed at establishing a ceasefire and humanitarian measures with a view to elaborating a shared and sustainable solution to the conflict.
Italy supports ongoing talks and contacts between Ukraine and Russia. We are aware of the wide gap between the sides’ positions, but remain encouraged by their willingness to continue engaging.
To that end, Italy will continue to exert pressure on Russia by engaging in the multilateral sphere to ensure Russia’s isolation in light of its wanton disregard for the values, principles and norms of the international order, and to pursue its accountability for the gross violations it has committed and continues to perpetrate.
During its mandate as Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Italy presided over the Committee’s decision that ruled that membership of the Russian Federation in the Council of Europe ceased as from 16 March.
In the OSCE, Italy joined the decision to activate the OSCE Moscow Mechanism on Human Dimension to establish a mission of experts to address the human rights and humanitarian impacts of the Russian Federation’s invasion and acts of war on the people of Ukraine.
Italy supports action by the EU aimed at isolating and putting pressure on Russia in the various WTO groups and meetings as well as to suspending concessions or other obligations with respect to the Russian Federation, such as the most-favoured-nation treatment. Likewise, it supports EU action to suspend the accession process of Belarus.
At the same time, Italy is urging key players to push Russia to exercise restraint and move closer to a diplomatic solution of the crisis through peace talks.
Italy is working with like-minded partners to detect, prevent, monitor and react to Russian disinformation and information manipulation and interference.
Italy joined more than 40 partners in the referral of the situation in Ukraine to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, in order to expedite investigations on alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide committed in Ukraine. In response to the request made by Prosecutor Khan, Italy has committed a voluntary contribution of half a million Euros to the Trust Fund established by the Office of the Prosecutor and expressed availability to deploy several experts to support the Court’s investigations. It is also providing an additional contribution to the Trust Fund for victims.
Together with its partners, Italy affirmed its support for the proceedings initiated by Ukraine against Russia before the International Court of Justice. With a joint statement issued on 13th July, Italy expressed its intention to intervene in the proceedings to safeguard the correct interpretation of the 1948 Genocide Convention.
Italy was among the main sponsors of the resolution on the “Aggression against Ukraine” adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on March 2, and took part in its drafting group.
Italy was also among the main sponsors of the Resolution on Humanitarian consequences of the aggression against Ukraine adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on March 24, and took part in its drafting group.
Italy joined the Group of Friends of Accountability following the aggression against Ukraine.
Within the Human Rights Council (HRC) Italy actively supported Ukrainian initiatives to address ongoing violations of human rights and to promote accountability. At the beginning of March Italy supported the request to hold an urgent debate on the human rights situation in Ukraine and was among the first co-sponsors of the HRC resolution, which established an independent international Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, which are occurring in the context of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine. On the occasion of the 49th HRC session, together with other 50 countries (including all EU MS, US and UK), Italy also joined a cross-regional joint statement promoted by Poland expressing deep concern over the deteriorating human rights situation in Russia. Also within the HRC, together with other 54 Countries, including all EU MS, Italy has supported the convening of the Special Session on the deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression held on the 12th of May that led to the adoption of a Resolution co-sponsored by all EU MS and adopted with a large majority (33 votes in favor, 2 against and 12 abstentions), which further details and strengthens the mandate of the CoI. We continued to raise the attention on the human rights situation in Ukraine also during the 50th session of the Council (13 June – 8 July), including by intervening in our national capacity in the interactive dialogue with the High Commissioner on the human rights situation in Mariupol.
Italy co-sponsored the Decision, recently adopted by UNESCO Executive Board, to alleviate the consequences of war on Ukraine’s Heritage. Moreover, Italy is following the delicate issue of replacing the Russian venue and Chairmanship of the World Heritage Committee June session.
Italy voted the suspension of all activities run by the OECD with Russia and a consequent decision by the OECD Council was adopted. Moreover, Italy, as Chair of the 2022 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, has proposed to discuss the crisis in Ukraine at the MCM in June, the most important yearly meeting of the Organization; the proposal was accepted.
In the EU framework, Italy constantly supported the decision of the Commission to release a first contribution of 1 billion euros to support Ukraine’s short-term financial needs.
Italy has also contributed to the approval of the regulation of the Council of the EU of 24 May 2022 allowing for temporary trade liberalisation and other trade concessions with regards to certain Ukrainian products, a measure which can significantly support Ukraine’s economy.

 

  • Italy has approved substantial military support to the defence of Ukraine.
  • Additionally, Italy has authorised the supply of 12 million Euros worth of non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine.
  • Italy ensures participation in the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF).
  • Italy increased readiness of the Immediate Follow-on Forces Group (IFFG), the reinforcement units of the VJTF.
  • Italy is continuing to contribute to the enhancement of the following NATO operations and activities in the land, air and maritime domains:
    • enhanced Forward Presence (eFP): in Latvia, within the framework of the Canadian-led battalion, Italy is deploying more troops and armored vehicles;
    • enhanced Air Policing/Vigilance Activity: Italy increased its contribution to the Air Task Force “Black Storm” in Romania while ensuring its deployment in Iceland;
    • Assurance Measures: Italy is contributing to all the measures conducted by NATO;
    • Standing Naval Forces: Italy provides the flagship and contributes to the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) deployed in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, and to the Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 2 (SNMCMG2).
  • Italy is also preparing to substantially contribute to the newly established “enhanced vigilance activity battlegroups” (e-VA) in the four NATO Allies on the Southeast flank, and especially in Bulgaria and Hungary.
  • Italy contributes about 152 million euros to the Assistance measures in favor of Ukraine provided under the EU’s European Peace Facility, for a total of 1.5 billion euros.

Italy worked with its EU and G7 partners to put in place unprecedented sanctions against Russia and Belarus, such as:

  • In compliance with EU sanctions [Regulation (EU) 269/2014 and Decision (CFSP) 145/2014], Italy has freezed assets belonging to oligarchs and Kremlin-affiliated individuals for almost 2 billion euros and about 288 million euros of frozen funds.
  • The EU has also listed 9 banks (JSC Russian National Commercial Bank, Bank Otkritie, Novikonbank, Promsvyazbank, Bank Rossiya, Sovcombank, VEB, VTB Bank and Sberbank) for asset freezing. EU [Regulation (EU) 833/2014 and Decision (CFSP) 2014/512] provides with the exclusion of 10 major Russian banks (Bank Otkritie, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, Bank Rossiya, Sovcombank, VEB, VTB BANK, Sberbank, Credit Bank of Moscow, and JSC Russian Agricultural Bank) from the S.W.I.F.T. banking communication network.
  • Ban of Russian Central Bank transactions and freeze of Central Bank assets in the EU.
  • Targeted sanctions, export controls, a ban on export financing as well as travel bans towards 1212 persons (including Mr. Putin and Mr. Lavrov) and 108 entities.
  • EU Member States banks cannot hold bank accounts of Russian individuals or entities, also if only Russian-based, exceeding 100.000 euros.
  • Measures in the field of visas against Russia: partial suspension of the application of the agreement concluded between the EU and the Russian Federation on visa facilitation for certain categories, sparing Russian civil society.
  • Crypto assets are considered to fall into the category of “transferrable securities”, and are clearly included in the scope of sanctions.
  • EU airspace has been closed to all Russian-owned, Russian-registered, Russian-controlled aircraft. Russian-registered vessels are banned from accessing EU ports. Russian and Belarusian road transport undertaking are also banned to prevent them from transporting goods by road within the EU.
  • Russia Today (RT), Sputnik EU for Rossiya RTR / RTR Planeta, Rossiya 24 / Russia 24 and TV Centre International have been banned from broadcasting in the EU.
  • Prohibition of all transactions with certain state-owned companies which are already subject to refinancing restrictions.
  • Prohibition of participation of Russian companies in public procurement in Member States, and an exclusion of all financial support to Russian public bodies, including EU programmes.
  • Prohibition of any transactions with a legal person, entity or body established outside the Union whose proprietary rights are directly or indirectly owned for more than 50% by an entity listed.
  • Prohibition of provision of credit rating services to any Russian person or entity.
  • Prohibition of new investments in the Russian energy sector as well as a comprehensive export restriction on equipment, technology and services for the energy industry in Russia, with the exception of the nuclear industry and the downstream sector of energy transport.
  • Prohibition of technology targeted exports (e.g. quantum computers, advanced semiconductors, sensitive machinery and transportation equipment, including jet fuel); import bans on products such as wood, cement, fertilizers, seafood and liquor.
  • Prohibition to purchase, import or transfer of crude oil and certain petroleum products from Russia into the EU, with a phase out period of up to 8 months and a temporary exception for some EU member states which suffer from a specific dependence on Russian supplies and have no viable alternative options.
  • Additional sanctions were imposed against Belarus, both in specific sectors of Belarusian economy (such as the exclusion of 4 major Belarusian banks from the SWIFT banking communication network) and against targeted individuals.
  • In Italy, asset freezing of listed individuals, groups and entities is carried out by the Financial Security Committee (CSF), an inter-ministerial and national Authorities’ organization chaired by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (Treasury). The MFA and other national Authorities (inter alia, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Bank of Italy, Financial Intelligence Unit, Financial Police and Customs and Monopolies Agency) participate in the Committee.
  • Suspension of all previous dual-use export authorizations to Russia and Belarus until new assessment.
  • Since February 25 Italy adopted the highest maritime security level 3 (MARSEC3) not only in war affected Ukraine waters, but also in the Black Sea Russian exclusive economic zone thus de facto preventing Italian flagged ships to enter all Black Sea Russian ports and to perform any commercial activities.
  • The final Communiqué of G7 Elmau meeting of 26-28 June 2022, announced sanctions to reduce Russia’s revenues, including from gold, and actions to reduce energy price surges, by exploring additional measures such as price caps.
  • On July 21st the Council of the EU adopted a new package of sanctions, the so-called “Maintenance and Alignment Package”, which introduces further sectoral measures while extending the list of designated individuals and entities.
    As for sectoral economic measures [Regulation (EU) 833/2014 and Decision (CFSP) 2014/512], the new package, inter alia, provides for: the prohibition of direct and indirect import, purchase or transfer of Russian-origin gold (Russia’s most significant export after energy), the extension of dual-use goods subject to export control, the expansion of the scope of the prohibition on accepting deposits to include those from entities established in third countries and majority-owned by Russian nationals or natural persons residing in Russia. Moreover, the already existing exemptions for the purchase, import and transportation of oil are now in force worldwide, new exceptions for the export of medical/pharmaceutical goods have been introduced along with exceptions (for pharmaceutical, medical, and food-related products) to the transaction ban with entities listed in Annex XIX.
    As for individual measures [Regulation (EU) 269/2014 and Decision (CFSP) 145/2014], the new sanctions introduce an obligation for listed individuals to report their assets to National Competent Authorities (NCAs), so called “reverse reporting”, and for natural and legal persons, entities and bodies to supply immediately any information which would facilitate compliance with the sanctioning regime.
    Finally, the new package adds 48 individuals – mainly politicians and military – and 9 entities, including Sberbank, one of Russia’s most important financial institution, to the designated list.
  • Organization of an effective reception of Ukrainian refugees in Italy. As of today, 150.791 refugees have arrived in Italy. Most of them are women (79.945) and children (46.783).
  • More than 800 million euros have been allocated to support Ukrainian refugees in Italy.
  • The MFA is coordinating a Working Group on refugee flows and reception efforts in order to increase capacities.
  • The Ministry of the Interior has increased the capacity in Centers for Extraordinary Hospitality (CAS) and in the Reception and Integration System (SAI) by a total of 21.000 units. The Italian Department for Civil Protection has increased the receptive capacity by 30 thousand units.
  • The MFA is also leading a coordination effort with the network of Ukrainian Consuls in Rome, Milan and Naples to exchange information on Ukrainian unaccompanied children and Ukrainian refugees.
  • The Ministry of Family and Equal Opportunities and the MFA convened a Working Group on Minors, together with the Italian Department for Civil Protection (DCP) and with the participation of UNHCR, UNICEF and IOM, in order to assess needs and coordinate concrete action concerning the specific situation of Ukrainian minors and adoptees.
  • The Italian Civil Protection (DCP), in agreement with the Ministry of Health, has carried out the actions regarding COVID-19 screening (upon entry and up to 48 hours since) and vaccination of refugees, including non-Covid-19 vaccinations and children immunization cycles, according to the rules defined by the Ministry of Health. Medical care is provided at the same conditions as the Italian citizens for a yearly renewable term once temporary protection has been requested, with exemption from sanitary expenses. In the absence of such a request, health care is ensured with the widest possible provision of services in favor of fragile persons, women, children and elderly people.
  • The Italian Government has implemented the EU Council Decision to introduce temporary protection in accordance with EU Directive 2001/55/EC.
  • Continuing coordinated interventions with UN Agencies on the ground, Italy is financing (with its Migration Fund) a 10 million euro project developed with UNHCR in Moldova, to improve its ability to assist refugees from Ukraine, with a specific focus on the needs of minors and other vulnerable persons.
  • Further projects are being elaborated in Moldova in cooperation with OIM and UNICEF, for a total value of 10 million euros.
  • A daily TV news bulletin in Ukrainian language is aired by the all-news channel of the Italian national broadcasting company (RAI – RaiNews24), in order to provide useful information on the reception provisions and updated information on the ongoing conflict to the Ukrainian refugees and the Ukrainian community in Italy.
  • Ukrainian citizens and other third country nationals coming from Ukraine who enter Italian territory as a consequence of ongoing events, can travel free of charge to reach the first place of destination or reception, within a maximum period of 5 days from their entrance, under the following terms:
    a) on ‘Trenitalia’ company trains that operate Intercity, Eurocity and Regional services throughout Italian territory. Other regional railway companies, which provide transport services on Italian territory, may provide free of charge travel to the same subjects on a voluntary basis;
    b) on the national motorway network;
    c) on maritime transport services for the islands.

 

  • Right after the start of the Russian aggression, Italy contributed 1 million euros to ICRC first aid activities in Ukraine.
  • On February 27, Foreign Minister Di Maio approved the transfer of 110 million euros to support the general budget of the Ukrainian government. This amount has been at the disposal of the Ukrainian Treasury since February 28.
  • The Ministry of Economy and Finance will lend up to 200 million euros more.
  • Italy contributed 25 million euros in response to the humanitarian appeals launched by the United Nations system and the International Red Cross, in order to support humanitarian activities in favor of both vulnerable people in Ukraine and refugees in neighboring countries.
  • The Italian Cooperation has allocated 14 million euros to support the humanitarian initiatives carried out by Italian Civil Society Organizations (OSCs) in response to the Ukrainian crisis. The Call for Proposals expired on July 8 and the proposed projects are currently being reviewed.
  • A coordination mechanism, chaired by Deputy Minister Sereni, has been set up with the Civil Society Organizations active in supporting the Ukrainian people.
  • The Ministry of Health is overseeing the collection of health/sanitary goods (through the Health National Service) to be shipped by Italy’s Civil Protection via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM) to locations in Ukraine’s bordering countries. It has also set up a daily assessment of hospital bed capacity in different settings such as ICU, oncology, pediatrics and neonatology, dialysis, and burn centres to make them available through the EUCPM.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is facilitating twinning agreements and other understandings among Italian and Ukrainian municipalities with the aim of: (i) putting forward tangible projects for the reconstruction of key infrastructures and high-valuable cultural sites and institutions, according to the needs and priorities highlighted by the Ukrainian Authorities; (ii) providing support and capacity building to local administrations in Ukraine in their effort to converge toward EU standards; (iii) strengthening people-to-people contacts, with a view to facilitating family reunifications between Ukrainian diaspora in Italy and their relatives in the homeland.
  • Italy is also providing in-kind assistance to relieve the humanitarian situation of Ukrainian people.
    • Italian Cooperation donated almost 5 tons of healthcare material to the Italian Red Cross for subsequent delivery to the Ukrainian sister organization.
    • Italian Civil Protection sent materials via Poland (200 tents for a total of 1000 people; 1000 camp beds; 1000 sleeping bags), medicines and medical equipment via Romania, 23 ambulances, as well as three field kitchens.
    • The Italian Civil Protection also coordinated the shipment of over 1500 pallets of humanitarian goods by train to Ukraine via Poland.
    • The Italian Corpo Nazionale dei Vigili del Fuoco (National Firefighters Corps) donated 45 vehicles to their Ukrainian counterpart. The shipment, coordinated by the Italian Civil Protection, left by train towards Slovakia. The Vigili Del Fuoco also donated 4 vehicles to Moldova.
    • Italian Civil Protection also delivered an emergency camp for the assistance of up to 250 people to Slovakia. A similar camp fitting up to 500 people was donated to Moldova. A tensile structure was also handed over to UNHCR to provide shelter to IDPs (Internally Displaced People) in Ukraine.
    • Italian Cooperation organized a humanitarian donation with a total cargo of about 20 tons of humanitarian goods from UNHRD Brindisi (mostly shelter items – such as tents, blankets, generators, tent heaters, lamps – and hygiene kits), which reached Niemce (Poland) on March 11 and 14.
    • Italian Cooperation has donated to the Moldovan authorities almost 20 tons of humanitarian items, sent from UNHRD Brindisi and delivered on March 14 and 18.
    • Italian Cooperation has donated 6 tons of humanitarian goods for the activities of the Italian OSC “CUAMM – Medici con l’Africa” in Ukraine, sent from UNHRD Brindisi to Ukraine via Romania (arrived in Siret on June 9).
    • Italian Cooperation organized the transport of 15 tons of humanitarian goods (of which 9 were donated by the Italian Cooperation and over 6 tons by the Foundation “Francesca Rava”). The shipments arrived in Romania on June 18 and 21, and later transferred to Ukraine.
  • Thanks to a 17 million USD contribution, in 2021 Italy ranked within the 10 main donors to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). The same amount will be provided in 2022 in support of Ukraine and other humanitarian crises.
  • Italy has adopted a strategy to gradually replace the current 29 billion bcm yearly gas supply from Russia by increasing supplies (via both pipelines and LNG) from existing sources and partners.
  • We act in synergy with major national players to relaunch national gas production, maximize the capacity of existing re-gasifier plants and strengthen critical infrastructures, including through an additional 10 bcm from new offshore re-gasifier capacity.
  • Levels of gas reserves in Italy are among the highest in the EU. Italy has a stock capacity exceeding 20% of its annual consumption, both in commercial storage and public strategic reserve.
  • Italy was instrumental in the adoption of the REPowerEU Communication and supported the review of the EU regulation on gas storage – which provides that gas storage facilities in the EU must be filled up to 80% of their capacity by November 2022.
  • The Italian Government has proposed and strongly supports a cap on the price of gas in Europe. The measure would break the vicious circle between expectations of a reduction in imports from Russia and the upward push in the price of gas that also represents a sizeable source of revenues for Moscow.
  • Italy was also among the main sponsors of the EU Energy Purchase Platform, the new voluntary coordination mechanism, bringing together the Commission and the Member States, that will support the purchase of gas and hydrogen for the Union, and which is also open for Ukraine and Moldova.
  • Our diversification strategy is a common asset for the overall EU energy security.
  • The creation of the Southern Gas Corridor/TAP, from the Caspian Sea to Italy, has proven to be a far-sighted endeavor, given that it is the only energy project added in Europe in the last decade that does not rely on Russia, and has the potential to redouble its capacity in the mid-term.
  • The EU’s energy diversification also benefits from Italy’s pivotal role in the Mediterranean at large, including in the Levantine Basin as a founding member of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum [EMGF]. Now more than ever, Italy’s inclusive and cooperative approach will be instrumental to further unlock the Region’s energy potential, in order to increase our common energy security.
  • Italy has participated to two releases of oil stocks decided by all the members of the International Energy Agency, to quell the high prices of crude oil and prevent any supply gaps. The first release at the beginning of March, for 60 million barrels and the second in April for additional 120 million barrels. In both occasions, Italy has released the sixth largest amount of reserves among participating countries.
  • As for assistance to Kiev in the energy domain Italy, through its Transmission System Operator (TSO), has supported from the very beginning the Ukrainian Government’s request to synchronize its power grid to the European power grid, after its disconnection from the Russian one.
  • Italy remains committed, both at a multilateral and EU level and with our partners and energy suppliers, to a substantial clean energy transition, which we view as the only solution to achieve lasting energy security and strategic autonomy.
  • A special fund of 500.000 euros has been set up to assist Ukrainian students in Italian higher education institutions and Ukrainian researchers and professors participating in projects in our universities and research centers. The Italian Parliament has subsequently raised the sum to one million Euros, expanding the criteria for eligibility. The Ministry for Universities and Research has urged higher education institutions to grant scholarships and adopt other initiatives to support Ukrainian students; as of April 20th, over 70 Institutes had responded, committing for over 1000 scholarships and grants and committing to welcome and assist up to 750 students.
  • In order to support educational continuity, the Ministry of Education has allocated an initial sum of 1.000.000 euros, to be assigned to educational institutions for the inclusion of Ukrainian students in Italian Schools. Educational inclusion of Ukrainian students is ensured through the Regional School Offices of the Ministry of Education in cooperation with the local authorities (Regions, Prefectures, Civil Protection, Local Authorities, Health Services). Moreover, there is a constant coordination with the EU Council and Member States to give a coordinated response to the requests of the Ukrainian Ministry of Education conveyed also bilaterally at political level.
  • A special regulation has been adopted so that Ukrainian students enrolled in the Italian Education System are not obliged to take the first and second cycle final exams. At the same time, in cooperation with the Ukrainian Embassy, the Ministry of Education is organizing dedicated locations in Milan, Rome and Naples where Ukrainian students can take the online exams to have access to Ukrainian Universities.
  • A section entirely dedicated to the Ukrainian emergency (https://www.istruzione.it/emergenza-educativa-ucraina/) has been published on the Italian Education Ministry website.
  • The Ministry of Culture of Italy has adopted a 2.000.000 euro program to support Ukrainian artists, offering them residencies and related activities. In addition, the Ministry of Culture is collaborating with Ukrainian authorities and international partners in order to safeguard endangered Ukrainian cultural heritage.
  • The Ministry of Culture of Italy has purchased and delivered, through the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM), ad hoc emergency material for the protection, conservation and transport of Ukrainian cultural heritage at risk.
  • The Ministry of Culture of Italy, in coordination with UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, is providing support for the preparation of the dossier candidature file of the historic center of the port city of Odessa as a world heritage site. The Ministry of Culture is also monitoring, in coordination with Ukrainian authorities, damage to the Ukrainian cultural heritage at risk, paying particular attention to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the sites of the UNESCO Tentative List and other sites of national interest.
  • The Ministry of Culture is enhancing cooperation between the Carabinieri Unit for the Protection of Cultural Heritage and Ukrainian relevant authorities with a view to provide further assistance in the protection of heritage at risk and to include Ukrainian cultural heritage in the Italian databases so it can be monitored and safeguarded against illicit trafficking.