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Ukraine: Berlusconi throws a curveball

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has sharply criticized Ukrainian President Zelensky. Zelensky is responsible for the war and the "devastation" in Ukraine. That's why he judges "this gentleman very, very negatively".

Published: February 13, 2023, 9:55 am

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    Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (86) blamed Ukraine for the war with Russia. If Ukrainian President Zelenskyy (45) had stopped the attacks on the two “autonomous people’s republics in Donbass”, there would not have been a war.

    “Therefore, I judge the behavior of this gentleman very, very negatively,” said the head of the conservative Forza Italia party, which belongs to Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s governing coalition. Berlusconi also called on the United States to put pressure on Zelensky. At the same time, he threatened to stop arms deliveries to Ukraine and promised a massive aid program if Ukraine agreed to an immediate ceasefire.

    Meloni reiterates ‘firm support’ for Ukraine

    Meloni’s office, meanwhile, said in Rome on Sunday that the Italian government “firmly and confidently” supported Ukraine. Berlusconi, on the other hand, commented on Sunday about a meeting between Meloni and Zelensky on the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels that if he were still prime minister, he would not have met the Ukrainian leader.

    Meloni has always positioned herself clearly against the Russian operation in Ukraine. On Thursday she met Zelensky in Brussels and talked to him about a possible visit to Kiev and Warsaw. Palazzo Chigi is working on a trip to Poland between 20 and 22 February (when US President Biden will be there too), but tensions in the majority have become a problem.

    She said on Friday that Italy would “soon” send a surface to air missile system to Ukraine along with France to provide a key shield against Russian missile attacks.

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