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EPP summit in Naples canceled after Silvio Berlusconi’s statements on Ukraine. Head of the PO-PSL delegation Andrzej Halicki: the right decision

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The head of the European People’s Party (EPP), Manfred Weber, decided to cancel the EPP summit planned for June in Naples after statements by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Ukraine. The head of the PO-PSL delegation, Andrzej Halicki, assessed that Weber’s decision was right.

“After the remarks Silvio Berlusconi about Ukraine we have decided to cancel our study days in Naples. Support for Ukraine is not optional,” Weber wrote on Twitter. He added that “we continue to work with the Italian government on EU matters.”

According to unofficial information from PAP, the cancellation of the meeting in Naples was pressured by MEPs AFTER and PSL in the EPP group, joined by 10 other national delegations. As a result, Weber was under a lot of pressure and hence the decision.

The head of the PO-PSL delegation, Andrzej Halicki, said in an interview with PAP that Weber’s decision was right.

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Berlusconi criticizes Zelensky

Former Prime Minister and now Senator Silvio Berlusconi criticized Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He told reporters: “If I were the prime minister, I would never go to talk to Zelensky, because we are watching the destruction of his country and the massacre of his soldiers and citizens.”

– It was enough to stop attacking the two autonomous republics in Donbass and that wouldn’t have happened. Therefore, I very negatively assess this gentleman’s conduct – said the leader of the party co-ruling Italy.

Silvio BerlusconiGetty Images Europe

Reactions to Berlusconi’s words

In view of the consternation caused by these words, the office of Prime Minister Georgia Meloni in Rome said that “the support for Ukraine from the Italian government is strong and decisive.”

Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party said support for Ukraine “was never questioned”. The party’s memo noted that its leader “only expressed concern to avoid further massacres and a heavy escalation of the war.” Deputy chairman of the party, deputy prime minister and head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajanihe explained in a statement: “Forza Italia has always been on the side of Ukraine’s independence, on the side of Europe, NATO and the West.”

The Italian media, commenting on Berlusconi’s statement, noted that there was a new crack in the centre-right coalition. During the discussion on RAI television, opinions were also expressed that the 86-year-old former prime minister had not said anything new, but only confirmed his pro-Putin position, which had been somewhat muted in recent months after previous polemics.

Adviser to the President of Ukraine: Berlusconi should drop his mask

Mykhailo Podolak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, was quoted by La Repubblica as saying that “Berlusconi is a VIP agitator who operates under Russian propaganda and trades Italy’s reputation for friendship with Putin.”

“His words hurt Italy,” he added. In his opinion, the former prime minister should “throw off the mask and say publicly that he supports the genocide of the Ukrainian people.”

Main photo source: Getty Images Europe

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