February 1, 2023

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“Let’s ask ourselves what to do if Putin hits NATO” – Corriere.it

from Giuseppe Sarsena, Washington reporter

“I think the US Congress and its allies should question the course of this war,” said the congressman closest to President Joe Biden. Let us prepare for all scenarios and remain united.”

Christopher Koons is Biden’s closest representative. Becoming a senator in 2010, he politically inherited a Delaware seat that had previously been held by his friend “Joe”. Immediately after winning the electionThe president had considered assigning him the position of Secretary of State. Subsequently, he preferred to leave it in the Senate to support a precarious majority and chose Anthony Blinken as head of diplomacy. Today Koons, 58, is the chair of the Ethics Committee and a member of, among other things, the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. It is a point of reference for Democrats and Republicans who have pressed in recent weeks to “do more” about Ukraine. agreed to speak with courier Prior to Mario Draghi’s visit to Washington.

Senator, you are among the most active parliamentarians on the war front in Ukraine. What does the United States expect from Italy?

“For the past few weeks, I have led a delegation of colleagues on a trip to Italy and France. I am also part of that large group of Americans who love your country for a thousand reasons. Among other things, I had the opportunity to visit the Sant’Egidio community and thus discover how important and effective volunteering is in your country. On a political level, I met the President of the Senate (Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, ed). We agreed on a basic principle: at this moment it is very important that the western side be interconnected. This is why constant confrontation between allies is necessary. in this meaning Mario Draghi’s visit to Washington very important”.

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The US House of Representatives and Senate are about to approve a massive $33 billion loan to Ukraine. Twenty billion in armaments. The White House and Congress are asking allies to contribute “proportionately,” but Italy doesn’t have the financial resources to take it upon itself…

“We know that. We know the Italian budget problems. and fact We won’t stand there with the slingbar to see who puts what. In the end, it seems natural to me that the United States contributes more than proportionately to other allies. But it’s still important for everyone to do something, mobilize politically, and get involved as much as possible. There are so many possibilities. For example, the further strengthening of the eastern flank of NATO. Italy, on the other hand, is already doing just that. We must all send a clear message to Putin: The United States and Europe are more united than ever and will not be divided.”

But the Europeans believe that it is necessary to try to renew the dialogue with Vladimir Putin. What do you think?

“I see Putin showing us every day how brutal he is. We cannot allow them to continue slaughtering civilians. The situation is evolving. We are collecting chilling evidence of war crimes committed by the Russian military. We have seen rape, food shortages and starvation used as tools of war. The Russians will continue this escalation. And I think Putin will not stop unless we stop him.”

The Biden administration is sending out ever more powerful and accurate weapons. What should you do more?
“President Biden shows great leadership skills. With constant commitment and a patient approach, he was able to unite the entire West, engaging countries that initially remained a little on the sidelines. All these countries, including Italy, jointly decided to impose devastating economic sanctions on Russia. But it is a defining historical moment. The course of this century may depend on how determined we are to defend freedom in Ukraine.”

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Are you asking the president to send American or NATO soldiers to fight in Ukraine?
“No, I’m not asking for any of that. Instead, I think the US Congress and allies should question the course of this war. What will we do if Putin decides to cross the border into Moldova or Georgia? How should we respond if a Russian missile hits NATO territory?” We must prepare for all possible scenarios, and remain united.”

May 11, 2022 (change 11 May 2022 | 00:11)