ROME — Despite condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, longtime Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi Speaks Out About His Most Unusual Affection with Russian President Putin.
Berlusconi, who just get voted back to power is part of a far-right coalition set to take office this month, caught on audio tape admitted that despite criticizing Putin after the invasion began, he received a birthday present from him on his 86th birthday on September 29.
“I have reconnected with President Putin,” Berlusconi said, according to an audio recording that went viral in the Italian media. “He sent me 20 bottles of vodka and a really sweet letter for my birthday. I responded with 20 bottles of Lambrusco and a similarly sweet letter.”
Berlusconi had previously appeared in defense of Moscow in the recording, noting that Russian ministers had complained about staying out of the way with the Italians “because we are supplying Ukraine with arms and finance”.
“I personally cannot express my opinion, because if I told it to the press, there would be a disaster, but I am very very very worried,” he told Russian media.
Of course, this is not the first time the two leaders have exchanged gifts during their high-level friendship. Berlusconi also presented the Russian President with a peculiar fur blanket featuring portraits of the two leaders for his birthday in 2017.
And it’s hard to forget the scandals sex scandal When admitted to escort, Patrizia D’Addario, recorded Berlusconi telling her, “Wait for me in the big bed. Putin’s, who has the curtains”.
Putin’s daughters were also hosted by Berlusconi’s Russian-speaking daughter Barbara in 2002, and the Italian leader had also been a guest at Putin’s Black Sea resort several times before the invasion. The two men are so close that they are the subject of several Leaking information telegram, in which the United States wrote, “Berlusconi admires Putin’s macho, assertive and authoritarian style of rule, which the Prime Minister of Italy believes suits his style.”
Berlusconi’s camp denied the two were rekindled and a spokesman told The Daily Beast that Berlusconi backed his coalition partners with their desire to continue supporting Ukraine, but just before the September 25 election. , Berlusconi told an Italian TV talk show that Putin is being vilified.
“The army is supposed to come in, go to Kyiv within a week, replace Zelenskyy’s government with decent people and then leave,” he said. His party issued a statement rebuttal. “The position of Forza Italia and President Silvio Berlusconi on the Ukraine conflict and Russia’s responsibility is known to all and is consistent with the views of Europe and the United States, reaffirmed on a number of public occasions. declaration,” his party said in a statement on their website. “There is no edge of ambiguity, nor is there ever.”