Silvio Berlusconi: Putin dragged into war by Russian nationalists
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said Russian President Vladimir Putin has been “dragged” into the war in Ukraine.
He said this on Italian television, writes the BBC.
According to him, the Russian army was supposed to replace the Ukrainian government with “decent people”.
“The troops were supposed to come in, reach Kyiv within a week, replace the Zelensky government with decent people and return within a week,” said Berlusconi.
He noted that the Russian media had created the story of the murder of Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine, and that reports promoted by separatist forces and nationalist-minded politicians “left no other choice. to Putin”.
“The Russian people, their party and their ministers pushed Putin to invent this special operation. Instead, they encountered unexpected resistance, which was then fueled by weapons of all kinds from the West,” said the politician.
The publication notes that on September 25, Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party could come to power in Italy’s general election.
Opposition leaders condemned his remarks and Center Party leader Carlo Calenda accused him of speaking “like General Putin.”
After that Berlusconi said his remarks were “too simplistic”.
“Aggression against Ukraine is unjustified and unacceptable, [Forza Italia’s] position is clear. We will always be with the EU and NATO,” he added.
- In April, Silvio Berlusconi said he had always considered Putin “a man of democracy and peace”, but was now disappointed with him.
- Later he said that Europe should unite and try to force the Ukrainian government to accept Russia’s demands. According to him, bringing Putin to the negotiating table with harsh statements will not work.
- He also said that sending “weapons to Ukraine makes Italy complicit in this conflict”.