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Italy's Berlusconi Visits Russia-Annexed Crimea

Former Italian Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Ukraine Black Sea region of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in March 2014.

Berlusconi arrived on September 11 in the resort city of Yalta for a "private visit." He had spent the previous two days in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.

He met with Putin at a memorial to soldiers who died during the Crimean War outside of Sevastopol, home port of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

On September 9, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said such a meeting was likely, noting that the two men have "longstanding business and personal relations."

Berlusconi is expected to return to Italy on September 13.

Earlier this summer, a delegation of French parliamentarians visited the annexed peninsula.

The United States, the European Union, and most of the rest of the world do not recognize Crimea as part of Russia.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS