Putin Expresses Close Ties with Italy in Response to Student's Question

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.21 - 2024 12:38 PM CET

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Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent statements about Italy have sparked controversy.

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Speaking at the Russian Agency for Strategic Initiatives forum, Putin responded to a question from an Italian student at the Moscow University for International Relations, claiming, "Italy has always been close to us." This interaction was reported by italian newspaper Notizie Virgilio.

Putin's Unexpected Message to Italy

"Italy has always been close to us, I remember how welcoming they were, there I felt at home," said Putin, reflecting on his perception of Italy and recalling a visit to Milan, which he praised as a beautiful and industrially developed region of Italy.

Putin: "Russia Has Many Allies"

Further, Putin emphasized that Russia has "increasingly more supporters around the world, especially regarding traditional values."

He noted that even in so-called hostile countries, there exists a wide and reliable safety net for these traditional values, indicating that Russia has many allies globally.

Putin and His Friendship with Berlusconi Controversial in Italy and Europe, Putin's remarks are less surprising considering the historical relationship between Russia and several Italian political figures, notably Silvio Berlusconi.

The personal friendship between Berlusconi and Putin, which began in the early 2000s, has been well-documented, with Berlusconi hosting Putin in his Italian villas and vice versa.

Berlusconi was also the first Western political leader to visit Putin in Crimea after its annexation by Russia in 2015, a move not recognized by the international community. Berlusconi's comments on the war in Ukraine in 2022 further highlighted the close ties between the two leaders.

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