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Leonardo CEO sees European 'change of mindset' on defence

Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo speaks at Foreign Press Association in Rome

ROME (Reuters) - European countries have become far more ready to invest in defence and security in the wake of the war in Ukraine, the head of Italy's defence and aerospace group Leonardo said on Thursday.

"There is a very clear change of mindset, at least in Europe, on defence, which is incredibly important," CEO Alessandro Profumo said in a video interview with the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington.

He noted that while "some years ago" defence spending met with social and political resistance, now "all European countries" are committed to the NATO target of spending at least 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) on defence.

On Tuesday, Leonardo's shares jumped after an Italian newspaper reported that Rome's government could expand military aid to Ukraine with the supply of fighter jets, but Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has ruled it out for the moment.

(Reporting by Alvise Armellini; Editing by Keith Weir)