A heartfelt, passionate speech. Like those already held in connection with the European Parliaments, the United Kingdom, Canada, the USA, Germany and Israel. But more moderate: Zelensky did not compare what is happening in Ukraine to the Italian resistance to Nazi-fascism, as expected, nor did he ask for a no fly zone.

The Ukrainian president intervened in video connection to Montecitorio in front of the United Chambers and, recounting the drama that the Ukrainian population is experiencing, asked “friendly” Italy to increase pressure on Putin to end hostilities. A 12-minute speech that ended with a standing ovation from the Italian parliamentarians.

THE SPEECH WITH THE POPE - Zelensky began by referring to this morning's phone call with Pope Francis: "I told him that our people have become the army, reminding him how much Ukraine has seen the evil that the enemy brings, how much devastation it leaves and how much bloodshed ”.

DESTRUCTION AND VICTIMS - Then the dead children: “There are now 117 children killed in Ukraine, this is the price of not stopping this war. And it's not the final number. Tens of thousands of families destroyed, millions of homes abandoned, dead and wounded. In 2022 they bury the dead in mass graves, and all this because of a man's decisions ”.

The destruction and the comparison between Italian and Ukrainian cities: “The Russian invasion is destroying families, the war continues to devastate Ukrainian cities, some are completely destroyed like Mariupol on the Sea of Azov. It had half a million inhabitants, it's like Genoa, imagine Genoa completely destroyed. Imagine your Genoa from which people escape on foot or by car in search of a safer place. O Kiev, as important to us as Rome is to you. It must live in peace, a continuous, eternal peace, as Rome and any city in our world must have. But in Kiev every day sirens are heard and bombs and missiles fall, while in the surroundings there are Russian troops who torture, rape, destroy, take away our goods and our children. Things that last time in Europe were done by the Nazis. The Russian army has also managed to undermine the sea near our ports: this is also a danger for neighboring countries ”.

"UKRAINE GATE FOR EUROPE" - "We must do everything possible to guarantee peace", continues Zelensky, recalling that "this war was decided by a single person, who earned a lot of money with oil and gas and prepared it for decades ". Putin will not stop, Zelensky is convinced: "Ukraine is the gate for the Russian army and they want to enter Europe, but barbarism must not enter".

THE SANCTIONS - Again, the appeal for further sanctions: “Russian officials and oligarchs use Italy as a place for their holidays, you must not welcome these people. You have to freeze real estate and accounts, seize yachts and freeze the assets of those in Russia with decision-making power. You must support the sanctions and embargo against Russian ships in your ports, you must absolutely not allow any exceptions to the sanctions for any Russian bank. We need other sanctions and other pressures, we have to stop just one person to save millions ”.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS - Finally Zelensky thanked Italy for the help to the fleeing Ukrainians: “More than 70,000 have been forced to flee, more than 25,000 children. In Italy the first Ukrainian baby was born to a mother who escaped from the war, dozens of babies are in your hospitals and we are grateful to you. From the first day you shared our pain, helped the Ukrainians with your warmth and strength ”.

“Glory to Ukraine and thanks to Italy”, is the conclusion, then the ovation of the parliamentarians.

DRAGHI - "Italy will not turn the other way in the face of incivility", Mario Draghi replied, thanking Zelensky for his "extraordinary testimony". The premier recalled the sanctions already approved and the frozen assets of the oligarchs "for over 800 million".

He underlined the "heroic resistance" of the Ukrainians "against Putin's ferocity" and remarked that "today Ukraine is not only defending itself but our peace, freedom and security".

"To those fleeing the war we must offer hospitality, in the face of the massacres we must respond with aid, including military, to the resistance", added Draghi, stating that Italy - as requested by Zelensky - "is ready to do more" .

The premier also said he agreed on Kiev's entry into the European Union: “We want to draw a path of greater closeness for Ukraine to Europe: it is a long process made up of necessary reforms. Italy is alongside Ukraine in this process. Italy wants Ukraine to join the European Union ”.

(Unioneonline / L)

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