Newly-elected Berlusconi to meet Russia’s Putin

ROME (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi, who has won a third term as prime minister in Italy’s parliamentary election, will hold talks with outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin this week, a Kremlin spokesman said on Tuesday.

The meeting is expected to take place on the island of Sardinia on Thursday, an Italian political source said, but no details were available on what the two leaders plan to discuss.

Asked to confirm if Putin would meet Berlusconi this week, a Kremlin spokesman said: “Such a visit is planned.”

The meeting would be one of Berlusconi’s first with a foreign leader since sweeping to power on Monday after fending off a challenge from the centre-left’s Walter Veltroni. He is not expected to take office until next month.

Putin agreed on Tuesday to lead Russia’s biggest political party after he steps down as Kremlin leader next month.

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