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Italian Foreign Minister left his party, which did not want to support Ukraine

 Italian Foreign Minister left his party, which did not want to support Ukraine

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said he was leaving his 5 Star Movement party, which he had previously criticized for undermining government efforts to support Ukraine.

It is reported by "European truth" with reference to Ansa.

"I'm leaving the 5 Star Movement," he said at a press conference, referring to the "painful" choice and stressing that from tomorrow his already former party "will no longer be the first force in parliament."

Di Maio last week accused 5 Star Movement leader and former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of undermining government efforts to support Ukraine and weakening Rome's position in the European Union.

"We definitely had to choose which side of history we are on - on the side of Ukraine, which was attacked, or on the side of the aggressor Russia. The positions of some M5 leaders risked weakening our country," he said on Tuesday evening.

According to Di Maio, he will form a new parliamentary group supporting the government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

According to Italian media, more than 60 deputies left the 5 Star Movement and joined the new Di Maio group. Thus, more than a quarter of the 227 parliamentarians of the "five" (155 in the House of Representatives and 72 in the Senate) left the party.

The 5 Star Movement has so far been the largest political force in Parliament after the party won 33% of the vote in the 2018 national elections. However, support for the party has declined substantially since then. Recent public opinion polls show voter support of just 13%.

Italy, like many EU countries, provides weapons to Ukraine to help it fight Russian aggression, but part of the Di Maio party did not support military assistance to Ukraine.