If I am not mistaken, Italian public opinion is generally pro-Russian. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, when Russia was almost universally condemned in the West, Italy stood out with its support for Russia as expressed in popular demonstrations, which included some politicians.
Thus it would seem that Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is bucking popular sentiment by expressing her staunch support for Ukraine. Perhaps she is experiencing strong enough external pressure to risk disappointing her base.
In the following video, Ms. Meloni addresses her remarks to her NATO allies and Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a meeting with Mr. Stoltenberg on November 10 at her office in Rome:
|00:30||This summit and our involvement in this conference|
|00:37||both confirm Italy’s commitment to NATO, of course.|
|00:45||And also to the common challenges that the alliance is facing in this particularly delicate phase.|
|00:53||Both the European and the transatlantic components|
|00:59||are fundamental for our safety.|
|01:03||The [NATO] alliance is indispensable for the safety and prosperity of our nations.|
|01:09||There isn’t and there cannot be growth in our societies unless there is safety.|
|01:15||And, of course, we need to defend the common values of our Western identity, together.|
|01:23||It’s what we have been doing, since we know that peace|
|01:28||is something we mustn’t take for granted,|
|01:33||but it’s something we need to work for.|
|01:37||Which obliges us to be ready to defend ourselves effectively.|
|01:43||With regard to this, I have confirmed to Secretary General Stoltenberg that|
|01:48||In the face of our greatest challenge in this particular time,|
|01:55||Italy strongly supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, freedom.|
|02:00||The alliance’s political cohesion and our staunch commitment|
|02:08||to the Ukrainian cause are the best response that NATO allies can give,|
|02:17||in terms of determination, to stand united in the defense of the Euro-Atlantic safety.