Italy declares state of emergency over Russia-Ukraine war

“The cruelty of the massacres of unarmed civilians is appalling and unbearable. The Russian authorities must immediately cease hostilities, stop the violence against civilians, and be held accountable for what has happened. Italy condemns these horrors in the strongest possible terms and expresses its full solidarity with Ukraine and its citizens”, Draghi said. [EPA-EFE/MAURIZIO BRAMBATTI]

Italy has declared a state of emergency over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and will send weapons and aid to the latter according to a decree approved by the Italian Council of Ministers on Monday.

“For this reason, it approved the declaration of a state of emergency until 31 December 2022, aimed at ensuring relief and assistance to the Ukrainian population on the national territory as a consequence of the serious international crisis in progress,” a press release states.

In Italy, the state of emergency, which entered into force in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, should have ended on 31 March 2022.

The Council of Ministers has also decided “to increase the relief and assistance measures for the people who are seeking and will seek refuge in the European Union” following the conflict in Ukraine, the statement reads.

The government decree also provides for strengthening the reception network with an increase of 16,000 places, an allocation of €10 million, and the possibility for Ukrainian refugees to be hosted in reception centres even if they have not applied for international protection.

In the note, the government specified that “until 31 December 2022, subject to a resolution by parliament, the transfer of military means, materials and equipment to the government authorities of Ukraine is authorised”.

According to the newspaper la Repubblica, Italy could supply Kyiv with anti-tank missiles, MG 42/59, Browning machine guns, Stinger missiles, and anti-IED systems.

The Council of Ministers also decided in favour of “preventive purposes, to anticipate the adoption of measures to increase the supply and/or reduction of gas demand envisaged in emergencies, an eventuality that at the moment does not correspond to that where our country is located”.

In addition, “it is immediately possible to reduce the gas consumption of power plants, by maximising production from other sources and without prejudice to the contribution of renewable energies”.

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