(Bloomberg) – Italy’s outgoing Prime Minister Mario Draghi told his fellow European Union leaders that the region was in recession and that divisions within the bloc would be a victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to reports. people close to his words.
The warning comes as leaders debate a controversial energy package and after Germany came under fire for a 200 billion euro ($196 billion) national aid package that some say would create imbalances in the EU.
The former head of the European Central Bank, 75, struck a blunt and somber tone at a summit in Brussels on Thursday, said two of the people, who asked not to be named in the closed-door discussions.
A spokesperson for Draghi declined to comment on the remarks.
The prime minister, who is expected to be replaced by right-wing coalition leader Giorgia Meloni, has warned against EU countries funding the Russian leader, according to the people. He said the bloc‘s economy is in recession, highlighted by market fragmentation which is negatively impacting EU unity.
Creating a division between EU countries is part of Putin’s strategy and if the EU does not show unity then Putin wins, Draghi said, according to the people.
–With the help of Alberto Nardelli and Ania Nussbaum.
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