In a long interview with Il Foglio April 19, Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said that if we don’t want a nuclear war, negotiations with Russia on Ukraine are the only solution. Italy backs Germany’s approach to the Ukrainian crisis, and calls for a solution that involves “the interest of all” parties involved.
Mogherini said that Rome and Berlin “have a perfect understanding, an identity of views, a common reading of the crisis.” This has had an important effect: to soften the hardline approach pushed by some countries, such as France and Poland. “A military option is always possible, but only as last resort, and it is not guaranteed that it will solve the problems; sometimes it makes them worse… for this reason we and Germany, in Ukraine, are seeking to avoid using the word ‘NATO’ in order to be frightening. It would be counterproductive.”
Russia must not be fought, but convinced “to dialogue, to participate… What is the solution, a nuclear war? Nobody wants it, therefore let’s seek a way through negotiations.” Sanctions, “if used as the only instrument,” are a step backward.
On energy supplies, Mogherini says that “Russia made it clear that it will not cut its supplies because it is not worthwhile economically… And Europe will do everything to avoid that the next sanctions should produce a backlash on energy supplies, because the first country to suffer from this would be the country we want to help, namely Ukraine.”