Thousands in Italy march for peace in Ukraine

Thousands in Italy march for peace in Ukraine


Tens of thousands of Italians marched through Rome on Saturday, demanding peace in Ukraine and urging Italy to stop sending weapons to fight the Russian invasion.

“No to war. No to sending weapons,” read a large banner carried by protesters as a huge crowd erupted in screams, “Give peace a chance.”

NATO founding member Italy has supported Ukraine from the start of the war, including arms supplies.

New far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said that would not change and the government said it expected to send more weapons soon.

However, some, including former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, have said that Italy should step up negotiations instead.

Around 30,000 people took part in the peace rally, police in Rome told Italian media.

“The weapons were initially sent on the grounds that it would prevent an escalation,” protester Roberto Zanotto told AFP.

“Nine months later there seems to have been an escalation. Look at the facts: sending guns doesn’t help end a war, guns help start a war.”

Student Sara Gianpietro said the conflict is being protracted by Ukraine’s arming, which has “economic consequences for our country, but also for respect for human rights”.

The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven, including Italy, pledged on Friday to continue to support Ukraine in the fight against Russia.

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