His recent death Silvio Berlusconi, known for being a great friend of the Russian president Vladimir Putin, it is distancing Italy from Russia, and bringing it closer than ever to the US, with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni recently stating that there are two conditions to be part of her government: Europe and Atlanticism.

Meloni made the comment shortly after Berlusconi’s controversial remarks about Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, adding that anyone who does not share her views on the EU and the US “is out”.

“Berlusconi has always been on the side of the West, a bulwark in relations with the United States and Israel. The Meloni government continues on this path and confirms the Atlanticism of the Italian government,” political analyst Corrado Ocone told EURACTIV.

However, Meloni did not always share the pro-NATO policy. In 2016, for example, he criticized the decision to deploy troops, including Italian forces, to Latvia in 2018 and called then Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to account.

“This is idiocy worthy of Barack Obama’s failed foreign policy. Europe and Italy have no interest in creating a cold war climate with Russia,” he wrote on social media.

Today, however, Meloni not only agrees with every NATO move regarding the war in Ukraine, but also appears to be on very good terms with the US president joe biden, despite the political distance and criticism leveled at him before assuming power.

“We want to be allies and not subjects. I am not happy to hear US President Joe Biden saying that sanctions (against Russia) will have little impact on Americans. Here in Italy, the impact will be maximum, it is the case of the distribution of burdens and prices. We will not become the mules of the West”Meloni said from the floor of a gathering of Fratelli d’Italia in Milan in April 2022.

The first meeting between Meloni and Biden took place at the G7 in Hiroshima, Japan, where they were captured in a popular photo in which Biden held the hand of the Italian prime minister. On the other hand, Meloni’s first official visit to the United States appears to be scheduled for July, eight months after she was sworn in at the Palazzo Chigi.

“We are working to organize Prime Minister Meloni’s visit to the US in July. The Prime Minister will see President Joe Biden to further strengthen the relationship between the US and Italy. There is a shared vision between Italy and the United States, it is our main ally in the world,” Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani (Forza Italia/EPP) said during his visit to Washington on Monday, where he met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

Italy’s proximity to the United States, moreover, seems to further distance the renewal of the pact on Silk Road with China of Xi Jinping, signed in March 2019 by former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (5 Star Movement), during the “yellow-green” government together with Matteo Salvini’s League.

Meloni will have to decide by the end of the year how to proceed, as the deal, if not renewed by the Italian side, will expire in March 2024.