Post misquotes Italian PM as calling for Russian surrender | Fact check

The claim: Italy's Meloni said Russia will be forced to surrender in Ukraine summit speech

A June 16 Threads post (direct link, archive link) includes a photo of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni speaking at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine.

"'If Russia does not agree to the terms, we will force them to surrender', – Giorgia Meloni," reads the post's caption.

The post was liked more than 300 times in two days. A similar post on X, formerly Twitter, was reposted more than 4,000 times in two days.

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Our rating: False

The post misquotes Meloni. She did not say Russia will be forced to surrender if it does not agree to terms from the summit. Meloni said Ukraine would have been forced to surrender if it hadn't received help from the international community.

Social media posts misrepresent Meloni's remarks at Ukraine summit

More than 90 countries, mostly from the West, participated in the Summit on Peace in Ukraine, held in Stansstad, Switzerland, from June 15-16 with the goal of starting a peace process to end Russia's two-year war on Ukraine. The summit ended with 78 countries, including Italy and the U.S., supporting a joint communique that insisted on Ukraine's "territorial integrity" as being the basis of a peace agreement. That's a nonstarter for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who wants Ukraine to surrender four regions annexed by Moscow in 2022 and renounce its plans to join NATO, the Associated Press reported. Russia wasn't invited to the conference, and China didn't participate.

But the Threads post misquotes Meloni's June 16 speech. She did not warn Russia that it will be forced to surrender if it does not agree to peace terms, according to a video and transcript of her remarks shared by Italy's government.

Instead, speaking in English, she acknowledged the help Ukraine has received from the international community before saying, "If Ukraine had not been able to count on our support and therefore would have been forced to surrender, today we would not be here to discuss the minimum conditions for a negotiation."

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Meloni went on to commit to supporting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and told summit participants that "peace does not mean surrender, as President Putin seems to suggest with his latest declarations."

She makes no other mention of surrendering in the speech.

The quote falsely attributed to Meloni has spread across social media platforms, with some users sharing a clip of Meloni's speech with a translator speaking over her. In the clip, Meloni is heard saying in English that Ukraine may have been forced to surrender without international assistance – not that Russia will be forced to surrender.

The Threads user who shared the post did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Italian PM didn't say Russia would be forced to surrender | Fact check