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Meloni Pledges Support To Ukraine, Risks Issues w/Coalition


Late on Tuesday evening, leader of the right-wing nationalist Brothers of Italy (FdI) Giorgia Meloni responded to a tweet from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, saying in English "[Zelenskyy], you know that you can count on our loyal support for the cause of freedom of Ukrainian people..."

  • Meloni is set to become the next Italian PM after her party emerged as by far the largest (119 of 440 seats) in the centre-right coalition that won a majority in both houses of parliament in the 25 September legislative election.
  • Her overt support for maintaining sanctions on Russia could bring her into conflict with her likely coalition partners early into the lifespan of the gov't.
  • Right-wing populist League (66/400) leader Matteo Salvini, before the invasion of Ukraine, was an avowed supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin. While his rhetoric has been more restrained in recent months, he has criticised the extent of sanctions as damaging to Italian household finances.
  • Centre-right Forza Italia (45/400) leader, former PM Silvio Berlusconi, made controversial comments shortly before the election claiming that Putin was 'pushed' into the war and has long been viewed as non-committal towards maintaining/extending sanctions.
  • The lack of governing experience within FdI, and the likely demands for high offices for Lega politicians despite a large loss of seats, already means the potential for a fractious coalition-making process in the coming weeks.

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