Berlusconi promises Putin to oversee Russian baby's treatment
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Friday pledged to take the medical treatment of a Russian baby under his personal control, RIA Novosti reported.
Berlusconi said this during a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. The two premiers also discussed trade and economic cooperation.
Two-year-old Vera Smolnikova from the city of Novosibirsk in west Siberia needs heart transplantation after she had pneumonia with a complication. On Thursday she was taken by a Russian emergencies ministry plane to the Italian city of Bergamo.
Russia's Health Ministry earlier agreed to include the girl in its federal quota for the operation in Italy, which is the baby's only chance to survive. The ministry allocated 630,000 euros ($855,700) for the surgery and accommodation for the baby's mother.
In December, Vera felt sick and Novosibirsk doctors transplanted an artificial heart to her. Her trip to Italy was possible only by a special flight with doctors on board.