Putin lauds 'manly' Berlusconi
Moscow - Russia's strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday telephoned Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi to praise his macho behaviour in the wake of an attack, his spokesperson said.
Putin expressed "words of solidarity, support and strongly condemned what happened," the prime minister's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
"He remarked that Berlusconi had behaved in a manly way in an extreme situation," Peskov added.
Berlusconi, 73, suffered a broken nose, cuts and two broken teeth after being hit with a souvenir model of Milan's gothic cathedral after a rally in the northern Italian city on Sunday.
Putin and Berlusconi have repeatedly boasted of their close friendship.
Putin in April 2008 stayed with Berlusconi at his villa on the Italian island of Sardinia while the Italian prime minister visited Putin's home city of Saint Petersburg earlier this year.