Putin highlights personal relationship with Medvedev, Berlusconi

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said he is proud that he and President Dmitry Medvedev have managed to build an effective working relationship and shared powers.

Putin was speaking at a news conference after a meeting with his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi. The two premiers held talks at Berlusconi’s villa Gernetto near Milan on Monday.

“Medvedev and I are people of traditional preferences,” Putin joked, answering a question from an Italian reporter. She asked what kind of relations linked the two Russian leaders. However, her words about “matrimonial alliance” just went too far, Putin noted.

“In fact, we have been friends for so many years, and we can only be proud of the working relationship we have managed to built,” Putin said. “We are guided exclusively by the country’s interests in our work, and we have shared our powers in accordance with the Russian constitution and law.” He stressed they had not any problems in the past and “hopefully, we will not have any.”

Putin said he liked his present work as the prime minister, “because it is real life, real economy and social sphere.” Life and social conditions of millions of people in Russia depend on how effective the government’s work is, he noted.

The government has its own competence, Putin said. It is so huge that there is no need for him and the president “to intercept and hinder each other on this field of joint activities”.

The Russian president and government had invited Berlusconi to visit Moscow on May 9, the Russian premier said, adding that the upcoming 65th anniversary of the victory over Nazism is “a great event both worldwide and in Europe.”

Putin also mentioned “a personal aspect” in his relationship with the Italian prime minister. It is helpful, but it is not the main thing in Russia-Italy relations, he noted. “Understanding mutual interests is most important,” Russian premier noted. “When we build our relations, we are guided, I assure you, first of all by these considerations.”

Sergey Borisov, RT

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