Italy to supply Ukraine with long-range Storm Shadow missiles ahead of NATO summit

According to Italian media, a decision on the supply of Storm Shadow missiles is expected to be made before the NATO Washington Summit scheduled for July 9-11.

The Italian government plans to provide Ukraine with long-range Storm Shadow missiles as part of its ninth military aid package. This was reported by the Italian newspaper Fatto Quotidiano .

Defence Minister Guido Crosetto is set to present the list of weapons by the end of June. The package will include not only the SAMP-T air defence system but also a batch of long-range Storm Shadow missiles, which have the potential to strike targets within Russia.

Informed sources told the publication that a final decision on the supplies is anticipated before the NATO summit in Washington, scheduled for July 9-11.

The dispatch of long-range missiles signifies a shift in the political stance of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni towards the war in Ukraine. Fatto Quotidiano notes that during the European Parliament election campaign, this issue, which is highly unpopular in Italian society, was omitted from the "Brothers of Italy" programme, and the Prime Minister scarcely mentioned it.

Now, after the election, with the apparent failure of factions that relied on a pacifist message, Meloni has publicly returned to her original pro-Atlantic positions. During the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland, she told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that "peace is not the capitulation" of Kyiv and that within weeks the Italian government would revoke the ordinance about weapons that vanished during the election campaign.

At the end of April, British Defence Minister Grant Shapps told The Times that Italy, along with France and the UK, had already sent long-range missiles, which are "crucial weapons," especially in Crimea, capable of "changing the situation." The Italian government has neither confirmed nor denied this information.

Storm Shadow missiles can target positions up to 300 kilometres away. Their exact deployment location is still unknown. The Italian newspaper notes that if they are installed in Kharkiv, for example, they can strike Russian territory. There is speculation that they may be fitted onto Ukrainian Su-24 fighter jets.

In 1999, Italy purchased 200 of these missiles, and in 2023 joined the Franco-British program for a new generation replacement.

On June 3, military expert Valeriy Rybak stated that the first potential target for Storm Shadow missiles could be the "Baltimore" airbase near Voronezh.

On June 2, the BBC reported that France and the UK might have granted permission to strike with Storm Shadow and SCALP missiles at airfields in Kursk and Belgorod.

  War in Ukraine, Italy