Italy PM condemns Russia's 'unjustifiable' attack on Ukraine

Russian ambassador summoned to Farnesina in Rome.

Italian premier Mario Draghi on Thursday said the government condemned Russia's attack on Ukraine as "unjustified and unjustifiable."Russian forces launched attacks on Ukraine at dawn on Thursday, crossing into the country and bombing military targets, in what Ukraine says is a "full-scale invasion"."Italy is close to the Ukrainian people and institutions in this dramatic moment" - said Draghi - "We are working with European and NATO allies to respond immediately, with unity and determination."The prime minister will fly to Brussels later today to attend the emergency EU summit on the Russia-Ukraine crisis to decide on what sanctions to take against Moscow.Italy's foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday that it had summoned Russia's ambassador to Italy, Sergey Razov, to convey the government's "strong condemnation" of the "very serious, unjustified and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine, which represents a clear violation of international law".A meeting of Italy's interministerial security committee has been called at Palazzo Chigi, reports state broadcaster RAI, with Draghi due to report to parliament on Friday about the Ukraine situation.Italy's centre-left Partito Democratico (PD) party is organising a demonstration on Thursday afternoon outside the Russian embassy in Rome "against the armed aggression" of Russian president Vladimir Putin and "in solidarity with the Ukraine people."

On Monday night, Putin recognised the independence of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine during a defiant televised address.

Italy joined its European and Western partners in condemning the move which Draghi described on Tuesday as "an unacceptable violation of the democratic sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine."Pope Francis on Wednesday urged all sides in the Russia-Ukraine dispute to take a step back and "seriously examine their consciences before God", calling for a day of prayer for peace on 2 March.