ROME (Sputnik) — The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) decided to impose a three-year-long entry ban on Berlusconi following his private visit to Crimea on Friday where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"A ban on Silvio Berlusconi to enter Ukraine for three years is a grotesque and absurd measure. We call for [Italian Prime Minister Matteo] Renzi to immediately summon the Ukrainian ambassador to clarify such a serious measure related to the leader, who has always worked to ease tensions and enhance cooperation between Russia and the West, and to resolve major international crises," Luca Squeri, a Forza Italia member, said in a statement.
Berlusconi himself has not commented on the issue as yet.
Berlusconi and Putin have met three times so far in 2015. After a meeting in June, Berlusconi said his Forza Italia party would advocate for lifting the anti-Russia economic sanctions imposed by the European Union over the Ukrainian crisis.