The Prime Minister claims that it is probably pointless to try to negotiate with Putin to end the conflict in Ukraine
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has apparently almost given up on negotiating a solution to the Ukraine crisis, saying he suspects it is a “waste of time” to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the conflict.
“I’m starting to think those people are right when they say, ‘It’s pointless to talk to him. It’s just a waste of time, Draghi tells the Italian newspaper. Il Corriere della Sera in an article published on Sunday. He suggested that Putin’s goal was not to seek peace, but rather to “destroy the Ukrainian resistance, occupy the country and entrust it to a friendly government.”
Draghi attributed his bleak view of alleged war crimes in Ukraine and apparently accepted the accusations against Moscow as a fact. For example, he noted that he spoke with Putin in a telephone conversation on March 30 about peace talks and the possibility that Italy would pay for its purchases of Russian natural gas in rubles. The two men agreed to talk again within a few days.
“Then came the terror of Bucha,” he said, referring to allegations that Russian troops killed civilians as they withdrew from a Kyiv suburb. Putin has dismissed the allegations as false and said the alleged “massacre” was staged.
The Italian Prime Minister said he still supported French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to seek a negotiated peace agreement in Ukraine, saying that it was right to continue all possible avenues for dialogue, but added: “I have the impression that the horrors of the war, what they have done to children and women is completely independent of the words and phone calls that are made. “
Draghi said he incorrectly expected a quick Russian victory at the beginning of the conflict. Referring to the poor prospects for successful peace talks and Ukraine’s surprisingly strong opposition, he predicted “prolonged violence with destruction that will continue. There are no signs that the Ukrainian people can accept the Russian occupation.”
Asked whether increased Western military aid to Ukraine and talk of Sweden and Finland joining NATO could trigger a broader war, Draghi replied: “The line of all allies is still to avoid a direct involvement of Europe in the war. One of the cornerstones of “This conflict is the assertion of all NATO leaders, including US President Biden, that there will be no direct involvement of the Alliance.”
Draghi insisted on Italy’s decision to supply weapons to Ukraine, saying it would be contrary to “European values” to refuse aid to people being attacked, essentially telling them to surrender to an attacker.
Italy’s economy has already been hit by the Ukraine crisis, Draghi admitted, and the country is dependent on Russia for about 40% of its gas supplies. However, he defended strong sanctions against Moscow and suggested that the EU introduce a ceiling on Russian gas prices.
Draghi, the former head of the European Central Bank, dismissed the economic sacrifices the Italians would need to make to punish Moscow, saying: “Peace is worth the sacrifices.” He predicted that the adjustments would be small, such as setting thermostats a few degrees higher during the summer, and called for diversification of energy supply, citing Italy’s agreement this month to increase fuel imports from Algeria.
“Peace is the most important value, regardless of sacrifice, but in this case the victim is also small,” Draghi said.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, which were first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s final recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. The German and French mediated Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions a special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kyiv insists that the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied allegations that it planned to retake the two republics by force.