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Zelensky invite to Paris a 'gaffe', 'mistake'

10 febbraio 2023 | 11.00
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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Italy's foreign minister Antonio Tajani

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky's invitation to Paris on Wednesday for talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz was a "gaffe" and a "mistake", foreign minister Antonio Tajani told Corriere della Sera daily in an interview.

"It was a mistake, a gaffe that does not help strengthen (united) European action in favour of the freedom of Ukraine. It was diplomatic gaffe on the part of the government of a great friendly democracy," Tajani said.

"I would have expected Italy to have been present at that table: we have done our duty. We immediately supported Ukraine. We have sent over a billion euros of aid," he stated.

Italy's premier Giorgia Meloni on Thursday called "inopportune" the tripartite talks in Paris aimed at advancing negotiations to transfer fighter jets to deploy in Ukraine's almost-one-year-old conflict with Russia.

Relations between Italy and Ukraine have not been damaged by the tripartite talks in Paris, however, Tajani underlined.

"We will be able to start again," Tajani said.

''There is no problem with Ukraine. Prime minister Giorgia Meloni yesterday saw Zelensky and we will continue to support that country's struggle for freedom'', said Tajani.

The minister denied that Italy's rightist government is isolated internationally.

''Italy has a leading role to play and we continue to work on this. We have the support of the United States and just yesterday we strengthened strategic synergies with the United Kingdom with which we are in full agreement on relations with NATO, migration, the Balkans, Libya, the Middle East peace process and energy issues," Tajani said.

Referencing the Franco-Italian SAMP-T air-defence system which Italy announced will be supplied to Ukraine, Tajani said: "The whole issue of the anti-missile shield is open. It will take a few weeks. But there are no problems."

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