Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed Giorgia Meloni to Kyiv on Tuesday and had strong words for a former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who has made a number of pro-Russia comments, reported Politico.
“Berlusconi’s house has never been bombed by missiles, never have tanks come to his backyard, no one has murdered his relatives. He never had to pack his suitcase at 3 a.m. to escape or his wife had to look for food, and all thanks to the ‘brotherly love’ of Russia,” Zelenskyy said during a joint press conference with Meloni.
Last week, Berlusconi — one of Meloni’s main allies in the Italian parliament and in the ruling coalition — criticized Zelenskyy, accusing him of being responsible for the war in Ukraine.
“All [Zelenskyy] had to do was to stop attacking the two autonomous republics of the Donbas and this would not have happened,” Berlusconi said, adding: “I judge, very, very negatively the behavior of this gentleman.”
Meloni tried to defuse tensions, noting that Berlusconi’s MPs always backed measures to support Kyiv in parliamentary votes.
“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,” she said.
Asked about sending fighter jets to support Ukraine, she acknowledged that the measure “is not on the table for the moment.”
Meloni also announced that Rome is working on a “reconstruction conference” in April that would allow Italian businesses to help with the reconstruction of Ukraine.