Putin and Berlusconi reunite at Siberian dance recital

The two also reportedly discussed relations between Moscow and the West in Altai

Berlusconi and Putin's friendship
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) welcomes Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Zavidovo residence outside Moscow, February 3, 2003.Viktor Korotayev/REUTERS

Old friends Russian president Vladimir Putin and disgraced former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi have reunited once again at dance recital in Russia's Siberian Altai region.

The two leaders got on notoriously well while Berlusconi was prime minister, before he was banned from running for public office for two years following a tax fraud conviction in 2013.

However, they have maintained their friendship over the last few years with the Russian president making time to visit Berlusconi while on a visit to Milan in October 2014, despite the fact Putin was four hours late to his meeting with other EU leaders on the same day. The Kremlin later issued a statement saying that the two had partied together till the early hours of the morning.

Following media reports over the weekend that the men had attended a dance recital in Altai after strolling down the banks of the Katun river, Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed today that the two had indeed met in the region.

"I cannot give you details. Indeed they were in Altai. Indeed Berlusconi was here on a private visit," Peskov said.

Local news agency Altapress, who spotted Berlusconi's private jet arriving in town, were able to shine more light onto what exactly Putin and Berlusconi got up to.

Altapress spoke to Leyla Malchieva, a Russian dance choreographer who said her dance troupe had performed four regional dances for Putin and Berlusconi to the delight of the two men. She proudly added that Putin yelled "Bravo" during their second dance.

Malchieva said that the group had rehearsed for two weeks, unaware that they would be performing for the president and were surprised once they learned who their audience would be.

Berlusconi had last week written a message on his Facebook account about the visit, saying that he had accepted Putin's invitation so that the two men could discuss the "tense situation in international politics between the West and Russia that is increasingly worsening".

No official photos from the visit have been released as of yet.

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