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The Italian Meloni reiterates his support for Ukraine on a call with Zelenskiy

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ROME (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni reiterated her government’s “full support” for Ukraine on Tuesday in a phone call with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, her office said in a statement.

Meloni, who took office in October, has been a staunch supporter of Kiev, despite friction over the issue within her right-wing coalition government and divided public opinion.

“Meloni renewed the Italian government’s full support to Kiev in the political, military, economic and humanitarian fields, to repair the energy infrastructure and (to work) for the future reconstruction of Ukraine,” her office said.

In a tweet posted on Tuesday, Zelenskiy thanked Meloni for her “solidarity and full support” and said Italy was considering supplying Kiev with air defense systems.

In his speech to a group of Western leaders last week, the Ukrainian leader called for a broad range of weapons and air defense systems to aid efforts to counter the Russian invasion.

In an interview with RockedBuzz via Reuters this month, Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto confirmed that Kiev had requested air defense systems from Rome, including the Franco-Italian SAMP/T system.

Under Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s previous administration, Italy sent five aid packages to Kiev, including military supplies, and Meloni’s government is working on a possible sixth delivery.

Meloni’s office said on Tuesday it “confirmed its intention” to visit Kiev and invited Zelenskiy – who last week visited the United States in his first foreign trip since Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24 – to coming to Rome.

(Reporting by Angelo Amante, editing by Alvise Armellini and Frank Jack Daniel)