Former Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi “restored relations” with the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. An audio recording with such confessions by Berlusconi was published in the Italian media, informs Politico.
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Berlusconi spoke at a meeting of the faction of his party Forward Italy, which discussed the formation of a new government. In the audio recording, he says he is concerned about Italy’s relationship with Russia because, he claims, “the ministers have said that we are already at war with Russia because we are supplying weapons to Ukraine.”
He then adds that he has “restored relations with Putin a little.”
“For my birthday, he sent me 20 bottles of vodka and a very nice letter. I responded with bottles of lambrusco and an equally nice letter,” Berlusconi says in the audio.
Berlusconi denies resuming relations with Putin and claims to have told Parliament “an old story about an episode from many years ago.”
Berlusconi’s Forward Party Italy is part of the ruling parliamentary coalition. Coalition leader Georgia Meloni is making significant efforts to distance herself from Russia, calling the invasion of Ukraine “an unacceptable large-scale act of war by Putin’s Russia” and advocating military assistance to Ukraine.
- In April, Berlusconi condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and said he was deeply disappointed and saddened by Putin’s behavior, adding that massacres of civilians were real war crimes.
- In early September, Berlusconi said he could mediate peace talks between Zelensky and Putin. The President’s Office called Berlusconi’s proposal strange.
- On September 23, Berlusconi said that Putin was “pushed” to war by Russian nationalists.
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