The Black Sea resort of Sochi was a relaxing setting for a meeting of the Russian and Italian leaders. However Vladimir Putin may have irritated Silvio Berlusconi with his support for Germany’s campaign for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Rome is also keen to be represented on the body.
The two men met at the Russian President’s retreat to mull ways to boost economic relations and discuss international developments. “We believe that Germany definitely has the right to ask for a permanent seat,” Putin said. “We will support Berlin in the context of broader UN reform that is backed by a majority of its members.”
Ties between Russia and Italy have been strengthening, but they are far below the level of trade and energy links between Moscow and Berlin.