A Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, on the Government’s Programme with Respect to Foreign Affairs

CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES AND SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC, 3rd JOINT COMMISSION, XVII LEGISLATURE, 3 APRIL 2014.

On 3 April 2014, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Federica Mogherini, has illustrated the programme of the Government with respect to the priorities of Italy in its international relations. Ukraine, Afghanistan, and the Balkans are the areas that Italy focuses on.

 As for the Ukrainian crisis, she stated:

Meetings, at different levels and in different formats, are ongoing on a daily basis.

[…] I cannot but reaffirm the position that the Government has taken from the very beginning on the crisis, that is, to have a response sanctioning the violation of international principles on the part of Russia.

The de facto annexation of Crimea is to be condemned and requires a firm and clear-cut reaction by the international actors, starting with the European Union, but also the G7, the United Nations […], as well as by NATO, on the non-acceptability of the breach of the principle that borders can be modified neither by military actions nor […] along ethno-linguistic lines.

This is a very dangerous principle that could ignite a series of devastating reactions […].

Still, in the background there is […] the need to preserve the perspective of a partnership with the Russian Federation.

This is a principle we have affirmed from the very beginning and that in the last days and weeks has been reaffirmed also by President Obama. The meetings that have been carried out between Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart, and between Lavrov and Kerry, are encouraging from this point of view, since there is an awareness that the solution cannot but be political […].

She then emphasised that a partnership with Russia is fundamental, also in the context of NATO, due to the international security issues that must be faced, and that it is not imaginable to return to a Cold War scenario.

She then recalled:

[…] on the one hand, the need to create an environment where Ukraine may have a sustainable relationship with its neighbours, including the Russian Federation. […] On the other hand, […] we need to operate so as to ensure that Ukraine is not obliged to choose between the East and the West […].

On Afghanistan, she stated:

The fundamental principle will be that whatever happens from now on will be decided together with the Afghans and by the Afghans. Yesterday, together with the Afghan Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, we have affirmed once again that the follow-up on the part of Italy of a form of assistance and training directed to the Afghan security forces cannot be done without an explicit and clear request by the Afghan authorities. Our engagement will continue as long as and to the extent that they will ask for it.

In any case, it will be a totally different kind of engagement, more focused on assisting the democratic and security transition, thus with a stronger civilian dimension, and from a military perspective solely focused on the training of security forces.

On the situation in the Balkans, she added:

It is clear that this is still one of the Italian Government’s priorities […].

In particular when it comes to Albania, there is an Italian commitment with respect to the steps towards European integration.

It is clear that Italy, especially during its European semester, shall play, and will play, a fundamental role to guarantee that the path towards European integration will proceed swiftly.

The full Italian version of the speech can be found here.

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