Guido Crosetto also noted that Rome cannot be expected to support Kiev indefinitely as its own stocks are limited
It is unlikely that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict will be resolved on the battlefield, Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto has predicted. He also revealed that Rome is considering ways to bring the two sides to the negotiating table, while continuing to arm Kiev.
In an interview with Corriere della Sera published on Sunday, Crosetto acknowledged that no matter how much Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government wants to support Ukraine indefinitely, the policy is simply not realistic. He pointed out that the hostilities there have dragged on for over a year and a half, adding that the “more time passes, the more the possibility of helping Ukraine with resources that are not unlimited decreases.” The official emphasized that this does not indicate a change in Italy’s policies but rather the finite nature of the country’s stocks.
According to the official, the “situation in Ukraine is getting worse,” with Kiev having “great difficulty in regaining lost ground,” and Moscow being unable to “conquer” the nation.
“We are witnessing the impossibility of resolving the conflict on the field,” Crosetto argued, adding that Italy was busy looking for ways to “build dialogue tables, achieve peace.”
He concluded by claiming that if Russia prevails in Ukraine, its tanks will be rolling toward European borders, making the prospect of World War III more likely.
Late last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated that Moscow is ready for peace talks with Kiev in principle, adding, however, that it has yet to see any “serious proposal.” The diplomat dismissed Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s peace formula as a “pure ultimatum,” which Russia would never accept.
Russian officials have previously pointed out that President Zelensky effectively ruled out negotiations when he signed a decree last October prohibiting dialogue with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Earlier this month, Politico reported, citing a European official, that EU member states have reached their limit in terms of weaponry they can provide to Ukraine, without compromising their own defenses.
“We cannot keep on giving from our own stockpiles,” the anonymous official told reporters.
In a separate story around the same time, the media outlet claimed that support for funding the Ukrainian government was “showing more cracks than ever,” citing the recent failure of the US Congress to allocate more aid money in its stopgap budget, as well as the election victory of former Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who vowed when he was campaigning that he’d stop assistance to Kiev.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Politico alleged that the Biden administration is looking for “creative” ways to secure further military aid for Ukraine, amid mounting opposition at home. The supposed workarounds under consideration include using the State Department’s foreign military financing program as well as a three-way swap of air-defense systems involving Poland, the media outlet claimed.