His words were leaked, and those around him initially denied it, but an audio recording was broadcast, shocking future prime minister Giorgia Meloni, who is working to form a government with his coalition partners, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Matteo Salvini’s League.
“For my birthday, Putin sent me 20 bottles of vodka and a nice letter. I responded by sending him bottles from Lambrusco and a nice letter. He told me that I was the first of his five true friends,” continued the former prime minister, who celebrated his 86th birthday on September 29. .
Urgently, Forza Italia issued a statement clarifying the party’s “alignment with Europe and America” and Berlusconi’s stance against Russia and Ukraine.
Leftist opposition was deserted.
“This is not folklore, not jokes. The new majority begins a shift towards an increasingly ambiguous position on Italy’s path towards Russia,” condemned Enrico Letta, head of the Democratic Party, on Twitter.
Mr. Berlusconi’s continued – statements could weaken the position of Antonio Tajani, a close, pro-European approach to foreign affairs.
Georgia Meloney’s entourage tried to calm things down.
“I avoid implicating Tajani,” Francesco Lollopricita, Fratelli d’Italia MP, said on Wednesday. “He was the president of the European Parliament (…) and always defended the Western alliance”, he underlined, after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
But for other sources in Fratelli d’Italia, quoted by La Stampa daily, “Berlusconi could have killed Tajani”.
During the election campaign, Berlusconi had already sparked outrage by claiming that Vladimir Putin wanted to topple the Kiev government to put “good guys” in its place.
In the rest of this audio recording, a new segment leaked on Wednesday evening, Mr. Berlusconi appears to be blaming the war on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who he says has “tripled attacks” against the self-proclaimed republics. Donbass.
“In 2014, in Minsk, Belarus, a peace agreement was signed between Ukraine and the two newly formed republics in Donbass, that no one attacks anyone. A year later, Ukraine throws this agreement away and starts attacking the borders of both republics”, Mr. Berlusconi tells his elected officials.
He mentions that “5-6-7 thousand people died” in these fights, then “Zelensky comes and triples the attacks against the two republics”, adds the chancellor, and then takes his comments that Putin was “pushed” at the end of September. To occupy Ukraine with its population and its entourage.
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”