Berlusconi blames Zelensky for war in Ukraine
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi slams the Ukrainian president for the war in Ukraine.
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Monday that Volodymyr Zelensky is responsible for the war in Ukraine.
"All [Zelensky] had to do was stop attacking the two autonomous republics of the Donbass, and this would not have happened," Berlusconi told Italian media on Sunday evening after voting in Lombardy regional elections, which are set to be the first major political test for Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s rightwing coalition.
“I judge, very, very negatively the behavior of this gentleman,” Berlusconi added.
He went on to say that if US President Joe Biden threatened to stop sending military and financial aid to Ukraine and asked Zelensky to order a ceasefire in exchange for a "Marshall Plan of six, seven, eight, and nine billion dollars" to rebuild the country, the war could be over.
Berlusconi, who served as prime minister for nearly a decade, is now a senator and the leader of the conservative Forza Italia party, which is a junior partner in the ruling coalition.
The former Prime Minister described Putin as one of his closest friends, and he was one of only a few Western politicians included on the Kremlin's end-of-year greeting list.
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Berlusconi stated last September in an interview with public broadcaster Rai that the plan behind Russia's attack on Ukraine was for Russian troops to enter "in a week to replace Zelensky's government with a government of decent people."
Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, a Forza Italia member and close Berlusconi ally, later said on Twitter that his party had "always stood for Ukraine's independence, on the side of Europe, NATO, and the West.