Italy PM slams Putin’s ‘propoganda’ on Ukraine peace talks

Italy PM slams Putin’s ‘propoganda’ on Ukraine peace talks
Italy PM slams Putin’s ‘propoganda’ on Ukraine peace talks

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - identifying the guarantee mechanism for the repayment of this loan,” Meloni said. — AFPItaly’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni gives a press conference on the last day of the G7 Summit hosted by Italy at the Borgo Egnazia resort near Bari in Apulia region, on June 15, 2024. — AFP pic

BARI, Italy, June 15 — Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni today slammed as “propaganda” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demand that Ukraine effectively surrender before any peace talks.

“It doesn’t seem particularly effective to me as a negotiation proposal to tell Ukraine that it must withdraw from Ukraine,” she said at the end of a G7 summit in Italy, and as an international conference on ending the conflict opened in Switzerland.

“Let’s say it seems more like a propaganda initiative... to create a narrative that wants to provide counter-information on where the responsibilities for the conflict lie.”

Putin — who was not invited to the Switzerland meeting — had yesterday slammed the conference and demanded that Kyiv effectively surrender before any actual peace negotiations.

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Meloni sent her foreign minister, Antonio Tajani, to the talks today and is due to attend herself on Sunday.

At the G7 summit on Thursday and Friday in Puglia, the leaders of the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Japan, Canada and Italy agreed on a new US$50 billion (RM236 billion) loan for Ukraine, as proof of their long-term support.

Meloni said today that the United States, Canada, Britain and “probably” Japan will contribute to the loan, but not European Union countries.

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The loan would be backed by the profits on the interest of an estimated €300 billion worth of Russian central bank assets frozen by Western countries following the February 2022 invasion.

G7 leaders said they hoped to provide at least some of the loan to Ukraine this year, to help with defence, Kyiv’s budget and reconstruction.

But crucial details still need to be hammered out, including who would provide the money and how they would share the risk in the event that the loan is not repaid.

The United States has said it is willing to put up the entire US$50 billion but does not expect to do so, saying it would be a “loan syndicate” and the G7 leaders would “share the risk”.

“European nations are currently not involved in this loan... Europe is already contributing by identifying the guarantee mechanism for the repayment of this loan,” Meloni said. — AFP

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