President Vladimir Putin has paid a late-night visit to former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi during ASEM summit in Milan.
Vladimir Putin left the home of Silvio Berlusconi after two hours, at 03:45, the Kremlin confirmed.
The two enjoyed good personal relations while Silvio Berlusconi was in power.
Vladimir Putin, 62, had already raised eyebrows by missing a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on October 16, the first day of the summit.
He was in the Serbian capital Belgrade as guest of honor at a military parade to mark the city’s liberation from Nazi Germany 70 years ago.
The talks with Angela Merkel, which focused on the peace process in Ukraine, eventually started four hours late, Russian media report.
Correspondents say Vladimir Putin has a reputation for arriving late. He kept Pope Francis waiting 50 minutes when he visited the Vatican last year.
Vladimir Putin met Silvio Berlusconi “by special permission” of the judicial authorities, Italian journalist Gerardo Pelosi said in a tweet.
“After the completion of official events… Putin came to see his old friend Berlusconi,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed.
Despite his late night out, Vladimir Putin was back early on Friday for more talks with Angela Merkel.
Silvio Berlusconi, 78, is serving a sentence of one year of community service at a care home near Milan since being convicted of tax fraud last year and ejected from the Italian Senate.
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