Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Putin Said Timing Premature for Ukraine Ceasefire, Says Draghi

Putin Said Timing Premature for Ukraine Ceasefire, Says Draghi

Thursday, 31 March, 2022 - 10:45
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the VTB Capital Investment Forum "Russia Calling!" via a video conference call in Moscow, Russia November 30, 2021. (Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi that conditions were not yet in place for a ceasefire in Ukraine, Draghi told a news conference on

Thursday when asked about a telephone call with Putin the previous day.

Draghi also said that Putin told him that current gas contracts remained in force and that European firms will continue to pay in euros and dollars, rather than in rubles.

"What I understood, but I may be wrong, is that the conversion of the payment.... is an internal matter of the Russian Federation," Draghi said.

Asked about increased defense spending following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Draghi said Italy will reach the NATO goal of spending 2% of GDP on defense in 2028, adding that this was not in dispute among members of his coalition.

However, Draghi said that the government's upcoming economic forecasting document would not spell out a specific increase in defense spending.

Editor Picks