The prime ministers of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece will meet in Rome on Friday ahead of a regular summit of European Union leaders, the Italian government said on Tuesday.
A Greek government source said the Rome meeting would focus on energy issues.
Spain’s Pedro Sanchez and Portugal’s Antonio Costa will meet Italian Premier Mario Draghi in person, while Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who has tested positive for Covid-19, will join via video link.
The EU summit will be held in Brussels on March 24-25.
In a two-day gathering in Versailles, France last week, heads of EU countries discussed ways to reduce their economic exposure to Moscow and to cut energy imports from Russia by 2027.
The leaders said they were ready to impose harsher economic sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and that they could give Ukraine more funds for arms to fight back.
They said the discussions in France would be developed further at the formal meeting in Brussels. [Reuters]