Italy will use its presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) this year to challenge the increasingly popular narrative that Russia is winning in Ukraine and that the West is tiring of the war, Reuters reported on Jan. 23, citing an unnamed source familiar with Italy's plans.
Worries about the future of Western support for Ukraine have been growing in recent months as more than $100 billion in U.S. and EU military and financial aid remain stalled by domestic political turmoil.
Italy will chair the G7, a group of major democracies that also includes Germany, the U.S., Japan, the U.K., France, and Canada, throughout 2024 and will host a G7 summit in June.
The Reuters source said that the main issues on the leaders' agenda would include conflict in the Middle East, food security, climate change, development in Africa, interaction with China, and Artificial Intelligence.
Russia's war against Ukraine would also be an important point on the agenda as in the last two G7 presidencies, according to the source.
G7 leaders reportedly aim to demonstrate they remain fully committed to Kyiv and can not risk showing signs of weakness almost two years after Russia launched the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
"We must change the narrative on Ukraine," the source told Reuters.
Italy plans to hold 20 ministerial meetings during its G7 presidency, starting with a three-day gathering on industry, technology, and digitalization on March 13-15, according to the media outlet.
Bloomberg reported on Jan. 10, citing people familiar with the discussions, that Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni was urging her Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban to unblock 50 billion euros ($55 billion) in EU aid to Ukraine in back-channel talks.
Orban alone opposed the EU's funding package in December, delaying crucial support for Ukraine. The EU will revisit the four-year funding agreement at an emergency summit on Feb. 1.