Italy’s ex-premier Berlusconi blames Ukraine war on Zelenskiy

Italy’s Ex-Premier Berlusconi Blames Ukraine War On Zelenskiy
Mr Berlusconi put himself at odds with Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni, whose coalition government his party supports, by criticising her for meeting the Ukrainian leader. Photo: PA Images
Share this article

Colleen Barry, Associated Press

Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has blamed Ukraine’s president for Russia’s invasion, again putting him at odds with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s support for Kyiv.

Mr Berlusconi, whose Forza Italia party is part of Ms Meloni’s right-wing coalition government, is a long-time friend and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.


He said the war in Ukraine “would have never happened” had Volodymyr Zelenskiy “ceased attacking the two autonomous republics of Donbas”.

Italy Elections
Forza Italia party leader Silvio Berlusconi said he judged Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s behaviour ‘very, very negatively’ (Ermes Beltrami/LaPresse via AP)

Mr Berlusconi said he judged Mr Zelenskiy’s behaviour “very, very negatively”.


He also criticised Ms Meloni for meeting the Ukrainian leader, telling reporters on Sunday that he would not have done the same if he was premier.

The comments drew a quick rebuttal from Ms Meloni’s office, which said that “the government’s support for Ukraine is solid and unwavering”.

Her office said support for Ukraine is clear in both government policy and in parliament, manifesting itself in weapons deliveries to Ukrainian forces.

Ms Meloni met Mr Zelenskiy on the sidelines of a summit in Brussels last week, and she plans to travel to Ukraine before the anniversary of the February 24th invasion by Russia.


Belgium Europe Ukraine
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy met Italy’s prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels on February 9th (Johanna Geron/Pool/AP)

She has previously warned Mr Berlusconi over his friendship with Mr Putin, and has asserted a strong pro-Nato, pro-European position on Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

The last warning came after Mr Berlusconi boasted of having re-established contact with Mr Putin and exchanged gifts of vodka and wine on his 86th birthday in September.


In his latest remarks, Mr Berlusconi said US president Joe Biden could help bring an end to the fighting by offering Mr Zelenskiy trillions of dollars in rebuilding funds, similar to the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after the Second World War.

“Only something like that will convince this gentleman to agree to a ceasefire,” he said.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by