How Putin-loving Berlusconi’s final stance drove Italy towards Ukraine

Giorgia Meloni’s condemnation of her predecessor has brought Italy closer into the European fold, says World Affairs Editor Kim Sengupta

Tuesday 13 June 2023 12:06 BST
<p>Vladimir Putin and Silvio Berlusconi at a Nato-Russia summit in 2002</p>

Vladimir Putin and Silvio Berlusconi at a Nato-Russia summit in 2002

Silvio Berlusconi used to declare that he had established Italy’s position on the world stage by protecting national interests while solidifying support from Western allies.

Such was his expertise on international relations – or so he believed – that he made himself foreign minister as well as prime minister, and sought to build personal relations with foreign leaders.

However, Berlusconi’s last major attempt to shape his country’s foreign policy – supporting Vladimir Putin and blaming Volodymyr Zelensky in the war in Ukraine – would have left Italy isolated in Nato and the European Union.

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