Thursday, Oct 16, 2008
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Wednesday that he is in favour of Russia becoming a member of the European Union, a “vision” he has held for several years.
“I consider Russia to be a Western country and my plan is for the Russian Federation to be able to become a member of the European Union in the coming years,” Berlusconi told reporters in Brussels.
He said that first of all the European Union should resume talks with Moscow on a partnership agreement that was suspended following a war between Russia and Georgia in August.
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“Me, I want to go further. I have had this vision for years,” Berlusconi said as he arrived in Brussels for an EU summit.
The Italian prime minister has had a friendly relationship with Russian Prime Minister Putin for several years and invited the former president of Russia, along with his family, to stay at his private residence on the island of Sardinia.
The EU suspended talks on a partnership agreement with Moscow on September 1 in protest at Russia’s formal recognition of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
This article was posted: Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 3:57 am