The prime ministers of Greece and Italy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Mario Draghi, met on Wednesday in Rome.

Their working dinner lasted for over two hours. Their meeting was held on the eve of the EU-Western Balkan leaders’ meeting in Brussels on Thursday and the June European Council meetings on Thursday and Friday.

Mr Mitsotakis and Mr Draghi discussed the economic and security challenges, facing the EU after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They agreed to, again, add the need for a ceiling on the wholesale price of natural gas on the Council meeting agenda.

Draghi briefed Mitsotakis on his visit to Kyiv and, they both agreed that the EU needs wean of its dependence on Russian gas.

The prime ministers also discussed the expansion of the EU and Mitsotakis reiterated Greece’s support for Ukraine’s quest for membership. He also noted the need for the Council to send a positive message regarding the quest of all six Western Balkan states to become EU members.

Earlier this month, ahead of a summit in Thessaloniki of the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP), Mitsotakis published an article in Politico, arguing that the EU should integrate of all six nations of the Western Balkans into the EU by 2033, in what he called a “bold but necessary step.”

Mitsotakis briefed Draghi on the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey’s aggressive posture in the region.

They discussed ways to revive the political process for the de facto reunification of Libya and called on all to avoid violence.

The two leaders agreed that bilateral relations between Italy and Greece were excellent and on how to deepen cooperation further.