February 5, 2023

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USA, China and Ukraine. Head to 2023 by Giorgia Meloni

Russian invasion, relationship with Beijing to redefine through the flight of Xi, one with the United States to further strengthen. These are just some of the prime minister’s many international commitments for the new year

Press conference “beginning of the term” and not the end of the year. And therefore Georgia MeloniPrime Minister, as he put it the meeting With Journalists It was organized on Thursday by the National Council of the Journalists Syndicate in cooperation with the Parliamentary Syndicate of Journalists. In just over two months, Meloni’s government has worked on the legacy of the previous executive branch, led by Mr Mario Draghi On the economy and the commitment to support Ukraine in the face of the invasion of Russia. Two months intense and internally demanding, with often stressful government allies such as Matthew Salvini And the Silvio Berlusconi (It is enough to recall their positions on the Western response to the Russian war against Ukraine), and at the international level, as evidenced by the numerous bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, which represented the first opportunity for Meloni to get acquainted with many leaders, including the leaders of from the United States Joe Biden and chinese Xi Jinping.

But Meloni’s time horizon is for the entire legislature. “My times coincide with those of my allies, and I think we all give ourselves a five-year horizon,” he told reporters. “I think one of Italy’s strengths at the moment is the impression of a government that has stability and a medium-term horizon. That’s a big strength: the stakes are very high and I think most of us recognize that.

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The year 2023 presents one important election date: the regional elections in Lazio and Lombardy in February. Those in Molise and Friuli Venezia Giulia will then be added to those yet to be dated. But in 2024, the situation will be completely different with the European elections in the first half of the year and the presidential elections in the United States in November. So 2023 could be a decisive year of moving to Italy and of maturity for the Meloni government and the majority. Also looking at 2024, when Italy will host the G7 which will thus return to Europe after the German presidency in 2022 and the Japanese presidency in 2023.

In light of the energy implications of the conflict in Ukraine (one of the priorities of the Meloni government), the first quarter of 2023 promises to be a challenge for the European Union, whose council Sweden will preside over in the first half of the year, and whose council Sweden will preside over in the first half of the year. Then pass the baton to Spain (an opportunity to emphasize the needs of southern Europe in terms of security but not only). The war in Ukraine will inevitably continue to dictate the international agenda. The prime minister said he would like to go to Kyiv “before the anniversary of the Russian invasion on February 24, because I think it’s a date to do something at the initiative level for” peace. In the last days he had telephone interview With the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, with whom he also talked about sending an air defense system. “I told Zelensky that Italy is ready to guarantee a peace process,” Meloni told reporters at a news conference. The prime minister also invited the Ukrainian leader to visit Rome.

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In addition to the trip to Ukraine, the prime minister could travel to Beijing after Xi’s invitation on the occasion of the G20 and to Washington to meet at the White House with Biden. without thinking The political distances between a democrat and a conservative are enough to damage a historical bond such as the one between the United States and Italy. The two superpowers are committed to managing competition responsibly to avoid accidents and misunderstandings. But the Biden administration’s multilateral approach is clear: a front for democracies to meet the challenges posed by authoritarian regimes.

The appointment of the second Democracy Summit for March 29-30 will be an important step, and there are many shining lights on Hungary, already excluded from the first meeting at the end of 2021, whose leader was Victor UrbanShe was also not highly regarded by the Biden administration for her relations with the former president Donald TrumpHe never hid his sympathy for Meloni and Salvini. The future relationship with Russia inevitably depends on the conflict in Ukraine. It seems that confronting China (since last year one of the “challenges” recognized by NATO) requires rethinking also in light of Beijing’s goals on Taiwan ( Recently officially entered the Italian-American diplomatic agenda).

A decisive test for Italy could take place at the end of 2023. during the yearIndeed, the government will have to inform its Chinese counterpart in the event that it wishes to withdraw from the Silk Road Memorandum of Understanding, which will be automatically renewed in March 2024. In the event that the intention is to move the step back, Rome must also prepare for a reaction from Beijing, even Assuming coercive measures such as those that China has put into place with Australia And the Lithuania in the past few years.

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(end of part one)