October 7, 2022

Controversy in Italy over Berlusconi statements about Putin

Rome, (EFE) — Statements by Silvio Berlusconi, former president and leader of Forza Italia, about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions to start the war in Ukraine have sparked controversy in Italy, which is holding general elections on Sunday.

The tycoon assured on Thursday evening in an interview with the “Porta a Porta” program – of the public television channel RAI – that Putin started the conflict urged by his ministers and his party and with the aim of “replacing the Zelensky government with one of decent people.”

According to Berlusconi, Putin “fell the war” because a mission from the two pro-Russian republics of Donbas informed him that the Ukrainian president had stepped up his troops’ attacks on them and their borders, and
that the troops would enter Kiev within a week, replace the government of Zelensky with a government of decent people, and return within a week.”

Criticism of his political rivals

These statements by the former prime minister about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have been harshly criticized by several of Berlusconi’s political rivals in Italy.

For Democratic Party (PD) general secretary Enrico Letta, “it is unimaginable to hear this chatter” from a Western leader.

“The sentences (by Berlusconi) are subversive words. He spoke like a Putin general, it’s something very serious,” said Acción party leader Carlo Calenda.

Berlusconi nuances

Given the controversy his words caused, Berluconi made it clear this Friday that the aggression against Ukraine is “unjustifiable and unacceptable”.

“It was enough to see the full interview, not just an extrapolated sentence, to understand what my thoughts and those of Forza Italia are: we will always be with the EU and NATO,” the four-time Italian president wrote on social networks . .

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