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Ukraine: 'Frightful error by Putin' says Draghi

Didn't want to believe Moscow would invade Ukraine, PM says

(ANSA) - ROME, MAY 20 - Russian President Valdimir Putin made a "frightful error" in invading Ukraine, Permier Mario Draghi told schoolchildren at a liceo classico at Sommacampagna near Verona Friday.
    "I knew it, I was sure of it but I didn't want to believe it.
    You don't bring 200,000 troops in war posture to the border of a country unless it is to attack it," he said.
    "I was sure it would happen because sadly it happened in the past with the Soviet Union too.
    "At the same time, I didn't want to believe it.
    "I spoke to Putin up to the end and we made a date to talk again but he launched the invasion.
    "It is a terrible drama, a frightful error made by Putin".
    Draghi went on: "I feel responsibility greatly. And this is part of seriousness. Leading a country at a difficult time is responsibilty. But responsibility is also to act. to do things." Draghi said "what we have to do is seek peace, make sure the two (sides) stop firing and start talking.
    "I told Putin 'I'll call you to speak of peace' and he told me 'it's not time'. 'Perhaps you two can solve the problems, why don't you talk?', 'it's not time'.
    "I had more luck in Washington talking to President Biden, I told him to phone. The suggestion had greater fortune because their ministers spoke to each other".
    Draghi also told the students in Sommacampagna near Verona Friday that he hoped Italian school students would not have to wear COVID face masks from next year.
    "I hope that next year there will no longer be the need for facemasks," he said.
    "I hope the pandemic does not return.
    "I know how much you have suffered; at your age it is important to be together". (ANSA).


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