Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, known for his support of Russia’s aggressive policy, claimed that the Crimea’s annexation was a free democratic choice of its people, and hence legal, Reuters reports.

“87% of Crimeans voted, and 93% of them voted for secession from Ukraine to become an autonomous republic and a part of the Russian Federation,” claimed Berlusconi. He also shared his impressions of the recent visit with Putin to Crimea.

“I wish you saw the love, gratitude and friendliness the people welcomed Putin in Crimea. Women threw themselves into his arms saying ‘Thank you, Vladimir, thank you’,” Berlusconi said. The former Italian Prime Minister admitted that he considers President of Russia the world's ‘number 1’ political leader.

Just a reminder: Silvio Berlusconi and Russian President visited Crimea on September 11, 2015. He was denied entry to Ukraine by the Security Service of Ukraine.