Rome is working ‘non-stop’ to end Russian-Ukrainian conflict ‘through sanctions’, Italian foreign minister says
Italy is actively seeking to broker peace in Ukraine and wants to become the guarantor of the country’s neutral status, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Saturday. The diplomat made the remarks after meeting his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov in Baku.
“Italy is working tirelessly to end this conflict through sanctions and without ever abandoning diplomatic channels. The continuation of negotiations between the parties and a humanitarian truce are priorities,” Di Maio said, acknowledging that “progress” was made during the Russian-Ukrainian talks in Turkey earlier this week.
Rome is finally ready to become a guarantor of Ukraine’s potential neutral status, which would see the country avoid aligning itself with any military bloc, Di Maio added. Establishing such a status and ensuring that kyiv will never join the US-led NATO military alliance are among the main demands raised by Moscow.
The Italian government is ready to contribute to the peace process and to guarantee Ukraine’s neutrality.
Moscow launched a full-scale offensive against its neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014 and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbas republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The protocols negotiated by Germany and France were designed to regularize the status of these regions within the Ukrainian state.
Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.
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