[..] What is the future of Italian presence in eFP now that Lega Nord and Five Stars Movement are ruling the country? Everything stated before could lead to the conclusion that Italy, sooner than later, will decide to remove its troops to improve its relations with Russia. Nevertheless, there are many more reasons to state that this will not be the case.[..]
(Picture credits: NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Latvia Facebook Page)
By LCDR Aldo Simone, JCGSC 2018-2019
Following the decisions undertaken during the 2016 NATO summit in Warsaw; Italy launched operation “Baltic Guardian”, participating in the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battlegroup with a contingent of 169 soldiers currently based in Ādaži, Latvia. The contingent has the purpose of reinforcing deterrence posture along NATO’s Eastern Flank, to show their determination to fulfil collective defence obligations, and to reassure Eastern European allies regarding the cohesion and solidarity between all NATO members.
However, when launching this operation. The Italian government, then led by Matteo Renzi (Democratic Party) faced variegated scepticism stemming from different sections of the political landscape. Giorgia Meloni, belonging to far-right party “Fratelli d´Italia”, defined the decision as idiotic and ridiculous. Matteo Salvini, leader of the right party “Lega Nord”, called it “anti-Russia madness”, adding that Italy should use its army…
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