The message reads, in part:
“This remarkable person was behind some of the most important events in Italy’s modern history. A true patriot, Silvio Berlusconi always put his country first. Leading the Council of Ministers for many years and serving as a top official, he made significant contribution to the economic and social development of his country, to the strengthening of its position in Europe and worldwide. He was rightfully considered the father of Italian politics and enjoyed global renown.
Russia will remember Silvio Berlusconi as a principled and consistent supporter of strengthening friendly relations between our countries. He made a truly invaluable personal contribution to developing a mutually beneficial partnership between Russia and Italy.
For me, Silvio was a dear person, a true friend. I have always sincerely admired his wisdom, his ability to make balanced and far-sighted decisions even in the most difficult situations. At each of our meetings, I was literally charged by his unbelievable vitality, optimism and sense of humour. His passing leaves is an irreplaceable loss and great grief.
I kindly ask you to convey my sincere sympathy and support to Silvio’s family and friends. I wish you all to stay firm in the face of this grievous loss.”