The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk held a videoconference with the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Italian Republic Lorenzo Fontana.
Ruslan Stefanchuk thanked his Italian counterpart for the initiative of such a meeting and expressed hope for further in-depth cooperation at the level of parliaments and personal relations.
The Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament also stressed the importance for Ukraine of supporting Italy and its Parliament in particular. This applies to various aspects where Italy has shown initiative and leadership, especially in the military and humanitarian spheres.
“I would like to thank for Italy’s constant military support of Ukraine since the first days of russian aggression. Accelerating our victory is possible only if Ukraine receives continuous and timely supplies of weapons, ammunition, important armoured vehicles, artillery and air defence systems in accordance with NATO standards. That is why it is really important for us that your country’s support remains unchanged, in particular, in the issue of military assistance,” said Ruslan Stefanchuk.
In addition, the Chairman of the Parliament of Ukraine called on Italy to join the support and implementation of the peace formula of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi, which is aimed at establishing a just peace and restoring respect for the basic principles of the UN Charter. He emphasised that Ukraine “counts on Italy’s active participation in the implementation of this initiative” and invited Italy to take patronage of one of its points.
An important issue of the conversation was the question of russia’s responsibility for the bloody war it has unleashed in the centre of Europe. The Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament called on his Italian counterpart to support Ukraine’s initiative to establish a special tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.
“Victory in legal instances is an extremely important component of our common victory. russia must be held accountable and those guilty of numerous crimes must be punished. I call on Italy to take a leadership role in the process of forming a special tribunal to punish the russian military and political leadership for the crimes of aggression in Ukraine,” Ruslan Stefanchuk stressed.
In this context, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine also called on the Italian Parliament to make important political decisions: to recognise russia as a terrorist state and to recognise the Holodomor of 1932-33 as genocide of the Ukrainian people, so that the world could avoid the mistakes of history and prevent them in the future. Many countries have already adopted the relevant resolutions, so Ruslan Stefanchuk urged his Italian colleagues to adopt similar decisions.
The parties also discussed Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic and European integration progress and Italy’s participation in these processes. In particular, the Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament invited Italy to participate in a joint declaration on Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration and to support Ukraine’s application for NATO membership at the upcoming Vilnius Summit.
The meeting also focused on the development of interparliamentary dialogue, its expansion, and increasing the effectiveness of parliamentary diplomacy between Ukraine and Italy.
“We are historically and long-standing connected countries, close in history and spirit. That is why our parliaments, as representatives of their peoples, should further promote each other and cooperate,” said Ruslan Stefanchuk, stressing the need to strengthen the activities of friendship groups and cooperation of permanent delegations to international assemblies, international and regional organisations, in particular, in matters of countering russia.
In addition, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine invited the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament to participate in the Second Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimean Platform in Prague.
“We must tell the whole world that Crimea is Ukraine. Together we must reaffirm the territorial integrity of our country within its internationally recognised borders. And I hope that this is a common position of all civilised countries and parliaments,” Ruslan Stefanchuk stressed.
For his part, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament, Lorenzo Fontana, expressed his respect and admiration for the struggle of the Ukrainian people against the invader and thanked the Parliament of Ukraine for its steady and uninterrupted work in the conditions of war.
“I would like to thank the Ukrainian people who have been demonstrating remarkable endurance, stamina and resistance for over a year now,” Lorenzo Fontana said.
He also assured his Ukrainian counterpart that the majority of political forces present in the Italian government demonstrate support for Ukraine, in particular in achieving not just peace, but a just peace based on international law and UN principles.
“There will never be a just peace without them. And it is important that the West, Europe, and the United States continue to support Ukraine and the idea that a sovereign country cannot be attacked, and the international law cannot be deviated and violated. This is a matter of fundamental importance, otherwise such a peace will be meaningless neither for Ukraine, nor for Europe, nor for the whole world,” Lorenzo Fontana stressed.
He also said that the Italian Parliament has already approved the Commission on International Affairs on the issue of genocide within the Holodomor of 1932-33, which is currently working on a resolution. The Parliament is also working on the issue of russia’s responsibility in the International Court of Justice for crimes committed in Ukraine. According to him, Italian MPs will continue to provide full support to Ukraine through their decisions.
“Most Italians are aware of the fact that Ukraine’s victory is a guarantee of future stability for all European countries and the world as a whole. We cannot leave Ukraine alone, we must provide it with assistance as long as it is needed,” said the Italian parliamentarian, adding that Italy has always supported and maintained the freedom, independence and integrity of our country’s borders.
At the end of the conversation, Lorenzo Fontana emphasised that Ukraine and Italy should show the world together “the support among the nations that consider themselves free and want to continue to be so, to ensure freedom and democracy for their nation and its future”.