Italian PM Meloni to visit Kyiv on Monday to meet Zelenskiy


ROME: Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will travel to Kyiv on Monday to meet Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a political source said on Sunday.

Meloni, who took office in October, has said she planned to visit Kyiv before the Feb. 24 anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

Despite friction on the issue within her rightist ruling coalition and divided public opinion, Meloni has been a firm supporter of Ukraine.

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, leader of the conservative Forza Italia party that is part of the country’s ruling coalition, last week said he would not seek a meeting with Zelenskiy if he were still head of government because he blames the Ukrainian President for the war with Russia.

Italy and France have recently finalised talks over delivery of an advanced air defence system to Kyiv in the spring.