Delegate Name: Stephen Pellathy
Italian position paper: War in Ukraine Security council
City High middle school
Stephen A. Pellathy
The Italian public stance on the war in Ukraine is one of worry. In a poll taken in late august of this year, 86% of Italians worried about the war in Ukraine when it first began, while that number has decreased as of present day ( 79%) the number is still overwhelmingly large. The italian public opinion on perceived causes of the war is 42% of people have the idea that Russia was totally unjustified in its attack on ukraine, while 6% think russia was justified in its actions and 26% think that nato threatened russia, but there is no justification for war (and a total of 26% neutral). In another poll, Italians were asked on which side they take on the war. 46% were on the side of Ukraine, 8% were on the side of Russia and 46% took no side at all. However, when asked to describe steps to take with regards to appropriate reaction, it came to an almost perfect split. 35% support ending hostilities, while 35% support heavily weakening Russia, with a remaining 30% not knowing what to do.
Natural gas imports accounted for about 92% of the total natural gas supply. Although Italian natural gas is not derived from the Nord Stream pipeline, most of Italy’s natural gas imports come from Russia via pipelines across Ukraine and from southeastern Europe. Natural gas accounts for almost half of Italy’s electricity production. However these pipelines are not being shut down, they could be threatened in the future, and need to be protected.
Italian trade (past)
Italy has been previously friendly with Russia, Italy Exports to Russia was US$9.01 Billion during 2021, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade. During a period of time, Italy was in fact Russia’s largest trading partner. In 2021 Italy exported 2.6 billion (USD) worth of Nuclear reactors, boilers, and other machinery to Russia. And Russia exported $4.08 B of Petroleum Gas. In 2020, Italy exported $7.71B to Russia. The main products that Italy exported to Russia were Vaccines, blood, antisera, toxins and cultures ($275M), Valves ($262M), and Leather Footwear ($238M). During the last 25 years the exports of Italy to Russia have increased at an annualized rate of 4.05%, from $2.86B in 1995 to $7.71B in 2020.
Recent Italian trade as of January 2022
In January 2022, Russia exported $2.22B and imported $761M from Italy, resulting in a positive trade balance of $1.46B. Between January 2021 and January 2022 the exports of Russia have increased by $1.11B (99.6%) from $1.11B to $2.22B, while imports increased by $148M (24.1%) from $613M to $761M.
In January 2022, the top exports of Russia to Italy were Commodities not elsewhere specified ($1.14B), Crude Petroleum ($612M), Refined Petroleum ($130M), Platinum ($99.8M), and Coal Briquettes ($56.1M). In January 2022 the top imports of Russia from Italy were Packaged Medicaments ($74.4M), Vaccines, blood, antisera, toxins and cultures ($25.4M), Other Heating Machinery ($25.2M), Wine ($23.1M), and Valves ($20.9M).
In January 2022, the increase in Russia’s year-by-year exports to Italy was explained primarily by an increase in product exports in Commodities not elsewhere specified ($317M or 248%), Platinum ($88M or 443%), and Coal Briquettes ($10.3M or 139%). In January 2022, the increase in Russia’s year-by-year imports from Italy was explained primarily by an increase in product imports in Other Heating Machinery ($49.3M or 818%), Packaged Medicaments ($24.6M or 110%), and Vaccines, blood, antisera, toxins and cultures ($10.5M or 68.1%).
Italy is wanting to preserve its foreign trade with Russia, as it is a major part of the Italian economy. This means that italy aims to preserve its imports of natural gas, via pipelines through ukraine, as this accounts for nearly half of the electricity use of italians. However, the public consensus is that of uncertainty or division. Although only 8% of the public sided with Russia, and 46% of people took the side of Ukraine, equally as many took the neutral position of “no stance at all”. Italy wants to avoid any military involvement in a war with Ukraine, as this would be very dangerous, and the 46% of undecided people are volatile, and could swing either war, which would lose support. However, Italy is extremely open to receiving Ukrainian refugees. Italy already has a large Ukrainian population. Among the EU Member States, Italy hosts one of the largest communities of Ukrainian-born people. According to Eurostat data, at the end of 2020 there were 223 000 Ukrainian citizens holding a valid residence permit. Only Poland had more, with almost 500 000. Italy has taken in more than 171,000 Ukrainians since the Russian invasion this year, according to United Nations figures. Polls show fewer than 40% of Italians approve of their country supplying weapons to Ukraine, a lower rate than other European Union countries surveyed. Many Italian businesses, meanwhile, are on the edge of bankruptcy, and closure, due to rising energy costs and interest rates. And inflation is at 11.9%. Securing energy is one of the main priorities of Italy in the resolution, and anything that would increase energy cost would be discouraged.