This site uses technical and analytics cookies.
By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies.

Tajani: “Beijing should persuade Putin to sit at the peace table. The jets? Not planned for now” (Corriere della Sera)

Intervista al Ministro Antonio Tajani
Intervista al Ministro Antonio Tajani

Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani is in New York on a busy schedule, which included speaking at the Special Session of the UN General Assembly the day before yesterday. The Minister defined the resolution as “a text that defends Ukraine but that is above all in favour of peace”. Today Minister Tajani will address the Security Council and meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

A central issue in the peace settlement is the future of Donbass and Crimea. The Americans fear that European unity will fracture over this. What is Italy’s position?
“Freeing Donbass and Crimea is not easy. Italy wants to work together with the others. It is important to have unity in the coalition, we must not show signs of yielding. We must find shared solutions. As I said, we have to start from Zaporizhzhia and the grain corridors”.

What if Europe becomes divided in the end?
“There are different aspects to consider: those on the border, the Lithuanians, the Estonians, the Latvians were under the Soviet yoke for many years. When I lived in Paris as a child, there were many refugees in the building I lived in. I was three or four years old. They were from the Baltic countries and had fled after the Soviet occupation. In the Eastern countries, demonstrations were suppressed using tanks: it is natural that they are more concerned…. We must find a comprehensive agreement. Americans in particular must play their part in the process, the Chinese on the other side, with the United Nations and Turkey. We must all sit down to discuss and find a solution that guarantees Ukraine’s independence”.

Crimea and Donbass included?
“Obviously, the ideal solution would be to free everyone. However, how long would such a war last? We will see when we start negotiating. We can’t be the ones to shut down negotiations”.

Are you hopeful about the Chinese peace plan?
“China is Russia’s friend. However, it should persuade Russia to sit at the peace table, because Moscow will not be able to win on the battlefield. China’s ability to lead peacefully ant to bring stability will be seen here”.

Will Italy send long-range missiles in addition to the Samp-T missiles? What about drones? What do you think about Lega’s scepticism about weapons?
“We are not the United States. We cannot take more weapons away from the Italian armed forces. We have sent everything we can. As for aircraft, it’s not something on the agenda: training a fighter pilot takes months, otherwise you risk sending people to their death. You need to have compatible weapons, you cannot deploy two aircraft of one type and two of another. The Italian Parliament has always voted in favour of sending weapons: this is what counts, even though different opinions may be expressed. Public opinion must also be taken into account. We are against war but we help Ukraine, we are not at war with Russia”.

After Berlusconi said that Zelensky had “attacked Donbass” and that he would not meet him, how many hours did you sleep per night?
“One has to contextualise the situation. Berlusconi has always been in favour of transatlantic relations. He has always voted against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He is on the side of Ukraine. However, he is sorry that the climate is now different from the one he created in 2002 to distance China from Russia….”.

Did Meloni’s visit to Kiev risk being cancelled?
“Absolutely not”.

Berlusconi’s words were echoed by the Russians.
“We will not be exploited by those who want to sow discord. Berlusconi and Meloni spoke after the trip”.

What did they say to each other?
“Forza Italia expressed its support, collaboration and loyalty to the government, so the government is as solid as ever. I spoke with Berlusconi this morning”.

What about relations with the EPP?
“That incident is over, I met Weber in Munich. The issue is settled. We need to talk about what happens today”.

As a guarantor of Italian Atlanticism you told the UN: “There is no peace without justice”’ in Ukraine.
“Berlusconi didn’t tell me: you mustn’t go. This has always been Forza Italia’s policy. Berlusconi went to speak to the US Congress”.

  • Author: Viviana Mazza
  • Header: Corriere della Sera
  • Place: New York

You might also be interested in..