United States Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has met with his Italian counterpart Lorenzo Guerini at the Pentagon today. Comes as the government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi appears close to collapse following the boycott of a confidence vote by the 5-Star movement.
- Bloomberg: "If Draghi goes, Europe will also lose one of its most experienced leaders at a critical time, with key decisions looming over the Ukraine war and its economic fallout."
- 5-Star said in letter today that "the party wanted to continue the historic alliances in the EU and NATO", but Italy was a “passive recipient of decisions made by others” and that this was causing “an irreversible fracture” between the West and the rest of the world.
- The potential collapse in Draghi's government will be seen by the US as a threat to the cohesion of the western alliance as Italy has long been viewed as a less committed member of the bloc.
- Guerini said in opening remarks at the Pentagon: "Italy is playing its part in providing assistance to Ukraine. So far, we have already delivered three packages of equipment, including some of absolute relevance... Italy is equally committed in contributing to strengthening the NATO deterrence and defense posture on the Eastern Flank.