Meloni, head of the nationalist Brothers of Italy party and the country's first female prime minister, presented her list of ministers after meeting President Sergio Mattarella. Meloni's right-wing coalition won the Sept. 25 legislative election in Italy. She was in favor of better relations with Russia and praised Russian dictator Vladimir Putin before he launched the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. But later she changed her stance and said in September that she fully supported "the cause of the freedom of Ukrainian people." One of Meloni's coalition partners - ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi - is a long-time friend of Putin who said earlier in October that he had restored his relations with the dictator. Another coalition partner, Matteo Salvini, previously praised Putin but later condemned the Russian invasion.
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