The ongoing government crisis in Italy is playing into the Kremlin’s hands, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has claimed. The turmoil is hampering Rome’s ability to provide military support to Ukraine, as well as to secure new energy contracts, the minister told POLITICO in an interview on Friday.
Critics of embattled Prime Minister Mario Draghi are effectively doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s work, Di Maio suggested, urging Italian political parties not to bring down the government in an upcoming confidence vote next week. Draghi has been among the Western leaders to strongly oppose Russia over its military operation in Ukraine, the minister claimed.
“The Russians are right now celebrating having made another Western government fall,” Di Maio said. “Now I doubt we can send arms [to Ukraine]. It is one of the many serious problems.”
The Italian government fell into disarray earlier this week when Draghi faced a confidence vote in parliament. While he comfortably survived it by 172-39, the ballot was boycotted by the Five Star Movement, the largest party in Draghi’s broad coalition government.