Speaking at a conference in Rome on Wednesday, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni called on European allies to start accession negotiations with Ukraine as soon as possible.
In a joint statement with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmihal, the Italian prime minister underlined that Ukraine’s future must be shaped in such a way that it can increasingly adapt to European dynamics and institutions.
“The smartest way to thank the Ukrainians for what they are doing is to accelerate their chances to participate in European institutions,” the Italian leader said. “We must acknowledge the enormous efforts made by Kyiv to reform its system and bring it more in line with the European Commission’s requirements.”
She added that Italy wants to play a leading role in the reconstruction of Ukraine.
The conference in Rome was dedicated to the reconstruction of Ukraine and was attended by more than 1,000 representatives of the Italian and Ukrainian business communities.
Tajani: Russia must pay for the damage it has caused
Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani stressed that the Italian initiative is part of a wider process, as similar events were held in Germany and France last year. In addition, the G7 group of countries launched a donor coordination platform for the reconstruction of Ukraine in February.
Tajani demanded that Russia should also bear the burden of reconstruction, saying that “when the conflict is resolved, it must be ensured that Russia pays for the damage it has caused.”
Zelensky: “Ukraine will win this war”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message that they are ready to rebuild the settlements destroyed by Russian attacks according to modern standards so that the Ukrainian people can live in safety. He also invited the companies present at the conference to participate in this process.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stressed that Ukraine would win the war and restore its territorial integrity.
“We will not stop until we achieve this goal,” he said.
According to a World Bank report, it will cost Ukraine $411 billion over the next ten years to recover and rebuild after the war. In 2023, Kyiv alone will need $14 billion to restore key facilities.