How much Italy spends on Ukraine: military support in numbers

How much Italy spends on Ukraine: military support in numbers
How much Italy spends on Ukraine: military support in numbers

Sincere defense or ridiculous rhetoric? Concrete commitment or progressive disengagement? Real support or prevailing paraculism? Il Foglio has recovered an important table that helps answer a key question regarding Italy’s future and its positioning in Ukraine’s defense. The question is simple and comes from here. It arises from a theme as big as a house which concerns the relationship built by the Italian government with Zelensky’s Ukraine. A theme that concerns the concrete suspicion that between words and reality there is a crevasse, a dangerous double standard. The topic in question is easy to say. The Italian government, first with Mario Draghi and then with Giorgia Meloni, has deployed the best of its arsenal at a political level since the first day of the invasion of Ukraine. At the time of Draghi, a large majority government, those who supported the defense of Ukraine were all the parties that supported the executive (including the Five Star Movement) and also the only party that was in opposition (Brothers of Italy). At the time of the Meloni government, the party that was in opposition continued to support Ukraine continuously, most of the parties that were in government under Draghi continued to vote in favor of sending weapons to Ukraine and only one in the last fifteen months he has shown distrust of military support for Zelensky’s army.

It’s the M5s, according to which it would be enough for the Ukrainian president to choose to appear in civilian clothes to bring peace closer: it would be funny if there weren’t anything to cry about. In any case, as is evident, on paper few countries in Europe can boast the presence of such a high number of parties eager not to withdraw support from Ukraine (even the League, which also cannot stand Zelensky, has been vote everything there is to vote in Parliament to send weapons to Zelensky). But the question that many have asked in recent months when faced with this real verbal and political commitment towards Ukraine on the part of Italy is whether in the face of so much transport there is also a symmetrical commitment at a military level. Last week, one of the most important newspapers in Europe, Welt, dedicated a very harsh article to this balance, the difference between what Italy says and what Italy does. The article was born from the study of the most closely followed independent report in Europe when it comes to military commitment, the Kiel report, and that report highlights a problem: Italy chats a lot about Ukraine, but in reality it spends little. Welt headline: “Italy does almost nothing about Ukraine”. Progress: “According to the report, Italy is only in 17th place among donor countries with financial, humanitarian and military grants of 1.3 billion euros – even though it has the third strongest economy in the EU. If you leave out the promises that cross the EU, and only look at the aid that has been promised bilaterally, Italy is even worse off.” And again: “On the other hand, Italy also has extremely little to show in terms of military aid. For example, although Parliament recently gave the green light to arms deliveries throughout the current year, the content and exact scope of these deliveries are subject to secrecy. The only thing that is clear is that this should not be decisive self-defense aid for Ukraine.” Welt’s accusation is particularly harsh because it arises from a harsh and plausible political reasoning: Meloni is perfect in words when she talks about Ukraine but in reality she cannot help her much due to that majority that finds herself among the League allied with Putin’s party and Forza Italia historically close to Putin. Are things really like this? Not exactly luckily.

Officially, Italy has spent 0.691 billion euros on military aid to Ukraine so far. However, the data does not include classified data il Foglio is able to report the true dimension of Italy’s military commitment towards Ukraine. A number that is three times larger: 2.2 billion euros, which coincides with the equipment donated to Ukraine. This is a significant figure, which will put the usual useful idiots of Putinism into discontent, and which if compared with the commitment of other large countries can help to focus on the size of the support offered by Italy to Ukraine. A multiplication table circulating in the Ministry of Defense, and which confirms the data obtained by the Foglio sull’Italia, helps to have a picture of the situation. Germany has so far allocated 17.7 billion, 3.5 billion per year until 2027. Great Britain 9.1 billion. The Netherlands 4.4 billion, spread over several years (in 2022 and 2023 the billions paid were 2.6, including the country’s contribution to the NATO Trust Fund). Denmark has allocated 8.4 billion, but spread over six years, from 2023 to 2028, it means 1.4 billion per year starting from 2023. Norway 3.8 billion spread over five years, just over 0.7 billion per year. Poland 3 billion, also spread over several years. Canada less than Italy, 2.07 billion. Sweden 2.03 billion, but the figure offered by Sweden also includes civil aid that cannot be separated from the general data. Finland has so far made aid amounting to 1.64 billion available to Ukraine. Switzerland 1.64 billion Swiss francs, spread until 2028.

Minister Guido Crosetto, in an interview with Corriere della Sera, said that in Europe only Germany and the United Kingdom were more committed than Italy. The numbers indicate that in truth there are also other countries that have done more than Italy but knowing that our country’s commitment towards Ukraine is three times higher than what the official data say (a commitment that among other is in line with the increases expected for 2024 for military spending, which this year will exceed 29 billion euros for the first time, with a growth of 5.1 percent compared to 2023 which comes after an increase of approximately 1.8 billion already achieved between 2022 and 2023: in two years the Defense Budget has seen an increase of around 12.5 percent) will not allow us to say that we can be satisfied but will allow us to say that until today we can be proud of what Italy has done for Ukraine: both with words and with deeds. More sincere defense than ridiculous rhetoric. More concrete commitment than progressive disengagement. More real support than prevailing paraculism. Sorry for Salvini and Conte, and for the Welt, but fortunately Italy when it talks about Ukraine, thanks to responsible heads of government, thanks to defense ministers with their heads on their shoulders and thanks to a head of state capable of showing the right course in foreign policy, alongside the good words to sell, also has some positive facts to claim. We are better than what they say but one fact remains. The disconnect between words and deeds is Europe’s big problem, which has left Ukraine with half the promised ammunition. Italy, like Europe, has done what is necessary. But to say that what is necessary is also sufficient would be too much. Hold on. Stay on track, and remember every day that defending Ukraine not only means defending a besieged democracy but also simply defending ourselves from the enemies of freedom.

 
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