Silvio Berlusconi with excitement about Putin

Silvio Berlusconi

Italy will elect a new parliament on September 25, 2022.

(Photo: dpa)

Rome The 85-year-old claimed in a TV interview on Thursday evening that the Kremlin boss was ready to invade the Ukraine been pushed. "Putin was urged by the Russian people, by a party, by his ministers to come up with this special operation," Berlusconi said on Rai.

Berlusconi is a friend of the Russian president and was reluctant to condemn the invasion after the war broke out. Now he said: "Putin has slipped into a really difficult and dramatic situation." He uses that expression consciously because Putin was urged by representatives of the two self-proclaimed republics in Donbass in February to intervene. They persuaded Putin by claiming that Ukraine was attacking the areas more and more violently.

Statements lead to concern about Italy's proximity Russia

Furthermore, the party leader of Forza Italia, who, as a smaller partner in a right-wing coalition, has the best chance of winning the elections on Sunday, said Putin wanted to replace the government of Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv "with a government of decent people".

The statements of the media entrepreneur, who, in addition to his politics, attracted attention through scandals, alarmed all those who fear that Italy will turn to Russia after the election. In addition to Berlusconi is also Matteo Salvini Part of the right-wing bloc - the head of the Lega was a Putin fan for years and criticizes the West's sanctions against Moscow.

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Central candidate Carlo Calenda called Berlusconi's appearance "really tragic" and called the Forza Italia founder "something between Putin's press spokesman and military adviser".

Former Social Democrat Prime Minister Enrico Letta tweeted on Friday: "There are no words to comment."

On Thursday, the Russian Embassy in Rome made a contribution Facebook provoked by publishing photos of Italian politicians at their meetings with Putin in recent years. Among them were Berlusconi and Salvini, but also other campaigners like Letta, Giuseppe Conte, Matteo Renzi or Luigi Di Maio and even President Sergio Mattarella and predecessor Giorgio Napolitano. "From the recent history of Russian-Italian relations," it said. "Some we need to remember."

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