“I was profoundly shocked to learn of the loss of life and severe damage caused by the earthquake in central Italy last night,” Mr Medvedev said in his telegram to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. “The Russian people share the friendly Italian people’s grief. On my personal behalf, and on behalf of the Russian Federation leadership, I ask you to pass on my profound condolences and the expression of my sympathy and support to the victims’ families and relatives.”
In his telegram to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Mr Medvedev said in particular:
“It was with deep sorrow that I learned of the loss of life and severe damage caused by the earthquake in central Italy. We in Russia are shaken by this tragedy. We feel sincere sympathy for those affected by the disaster and we share their grief. On my personal behalf, and on behalf of the Russian people I ask you to pass on my condolences and words of support to the victims’ families and relatives.
Russia is ready to provide Italy with any necessary assistance in the disaster relief effort.”
Following the earthquake in Italy, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has cancelled his visit to Russia that was scheduled for April 7.
Mr Medvedev reacted with understanding to Mr Berlusconi’s request to move the visit to a later date.
The President instructed Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry to get in touch with their Italian colleagues and provide any help needed in the disaster relief effort.