Zelenskyy shares chilly meeting with Italian PM Meloni as Rome REFUSES to send fighter jets

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Kyiv on Tuesday to discuss Italy supplying Ukraine with fighter jets in its war against Russia and was given a firm “no” by Meloni as she seeks to support the besieged country without provoking WWIII.

(Video Credit: euronews)

Straddling the geo-political fence, Meloni expressed firm support for Ukraine but was not willing to bend on the issue of Italy’s AMX bomber jets, according to the Daily Mail. The prime minister’s trek to Ukraine is seen as one of her most significant trips since coming into power last October.

“At the moment the supply of planes is not on the table,” the Italian PM adamantly stated during a press conference where she stood alongside Zelenskyy in Kyiv.

She added that any decision would be made “in consultation with international partners.”

Tensions were running high before Meloni participated in the press conference. The two were photographed meeting each other with stern countenances just a week after Meloni’s coalition partner not-so-subtlety blamed Zelenskyy for the invasion of Ukraine.


Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is the leader of Forza Italia and allegedly a long-time friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, claimed last week that the conflict “would have never happened” had Zelenskyy “ceased attacking the two autonomous republics of Donbas.” That is a region of the country that Russia illegally annexed.

“All [Zelenskyy] had to do was to stop attacking the two autonomous republics of the Donbas and this would not have happened,” Berlusconi said according to Politico, adding: “I judge, very, very negatively the behavior of this gentleman.”

Zelenskyy was not fazed by Berlusconi’s remarks. He commented that the 86-year-old media tycoon was not forced to endure daily bombardments and blackouts brought on by Russian airstrikes.

The Ukrainian leader pointed out during the conference that it was important for Italians to view the Russian invasion for what it truly is and that his country needed the support of Italy during the war.

“Mr. Berlusconi, it seems to me, has never had his house bombarded with missiles every day. And thank God his partner from the Russian Federation didn’t drive a tank into his house and destroy his relatives and close ones,” Zelenskyy contended.

“I think Mr. Berlusconi has not had to get up at three in the morning because of blackouts to start washing clothes, making food for his children two days in advance because there may not be power for the next two-three days because of the great love of the brotherly Russian people,” he snarkily charged.

Zelenskyy advisor Oleg Nikolenko slammed Berlusconi’s statements on Monday, saying that “by spreading Russian propaganda, he encourages Russia to continue its crimes against Ukraine, and then bears political and moral responsibility.”

“Berlusconi’s senseless accusations against the Ukrainian president are an attempt to kiss Putin’s hands, which are up to the elbows in blood,″ he stated, according to the Associated Press.

Russian airstrikes began in October, striking critical infrastructure and causing ongoing blackouts and power outages.

Zelenskyy said that Berlusconi could benefit from traveling to Ukraine to see the “bloody trail left by the brotherly Russian Federation.”

“Then we can talk at the same level,” he angrily posited.

Meloni stressed that Italy stands with Ukraine in the war. She noted, “A defeat of Ukraine would be the prelude to the possible invasion of other European states, this is what some in Europe pretend not to understand.”

The prime minister also reiterated that her coalition has been firm in its support for Ukraine with “facts” and votes in parliament despite the opinions of politicians.

Though fighter jets are off the table for Italy, the country is considering sending more air defense systems to Ukraine. Italy is currently set to deliver the “SAMP/T-MAMBA” defense system to Ukraine shortly in cooperation with France.

According to the Daily Mail, surveys taken in Italy reportedly show that a majority of Italians oppose sending more arms to Ukraine. They allegedly would rather see peace achieved by making concessions to Russia. Meloni has ruled that option out.

Before meeting with Zelenskyy in Kyiv, Meloni visited the battlefront cities of Bucha and Irpin. She came to Ukraine via Poland by train.

On Tuesday, the Italian prime minister shrugged off a speech given by Putin as “propaganda” as she visited Ukrainian graves the Russians left in their wake. She openly wept as she was shown a church containing a photo exhibition of dead civilians.


Bucha’s mayor, Anatolii Fedoruk, presented Meloni with a commemorative coin that was made from the casings of bullets and shells found in the town.

Meanwhile, Putin gave his own version of the State of the Union early Tuesday, proclaiming that Moscow would win in Ukraine while accusing the West of trying to destroy Russia.

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