A leak from the US about an alleged Russian financing shakes (even more) the electoral campaign in Italy

  • The hypothesis that Moscow would have spent millions since 2014 to influence parties provokes a chain of reactions in Italy a few days before the elections

  • The news coincides with tensions between the Brothers of Italy and the League, the two main allies of the right-wing coalition

Russia shake it again italian politics. The reason: the leak from the United States Department of State (USA) that Moscow would have spent covertly $300 million since 2014 to try to influence political parties in more than twenty countries. Since the information was made public on Tuesday, the matter has further inflamed the already tense electoral campaign of the country, with just a few days to go before the crucial elections.

Right-wing parties like the League of Matteo Salvini, who in the past has not hidden his admiration for the Russia of Vladimir PutinThey have opted for the counterattack. “The only certain thing is that the (extinct) Communist Party was the first to receive money from the Kremlin,” the party said in a statement.

With this, the League has also warned that it will denounce all those who “incorrectly cite” this party and Salvini. “Falsehoods and insinuations will no longer be tolerated: enough is enough,” they have said. Along the same lines, the far-rightist Brothers from Italy (Fratelli D’Italia), whose leader, Giorgia Meloni, She has also said “to be sure” that her formation “has not received money from foreigners”. “Our forms of financing are all verifiable,” she added.

Meloni has spoken in this way after the Italian newspaper ‘La Repubblica’ published statements by Kurt Volkerformer US special envoy in Ukraine (during the Donald Trump administration), in which he suggested that not only the Liga and Forza Italia of Silvio Berlusconi they would have “sympathies” for Moscow, but also Brothers from Italy could have received “some help”.

Similarly, with the controversy on practically all the front pages of the country’s main media, the Russian Embassy in Rome has also wanted to give its version and has vehemently denied the accusations from the US. Antonio Tajani, today the visible face of Forza Italia, has called for “transparency”. A request you have also made Enrico Lettathe leader of the progressive Democratic Party (PD), who in recent weeks has repeatedly warned about how Russia is trying to favor right-wing parties.

Secret services on alert

“For now there is no information that Italy is among the countries involved” in the alleged Russian financing, he said. Adolfo Urso, president of the parliamentary committee for the Security of the Republic (Cosapir), which is in charge of controlling the activity of the secret services in Italy. However, “things could change,” he added.

In a more caustic tone, the Italian foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, has highlighted that there could be “several dossiers”. His old party, the 5 Star Movement (M5E), which dropped out last spring, has also been singled out in the past for too close ties to Moscow. In this context, Cosapir has called an extraordinary meeting for this Friday with the undersecretary responsible for security, Franco Gabrielli.

Tensions between the League and Brothers of Italy

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The current climate coincides with a moment of tension between the right-wing coalition partners, the League and Brothers of Italy. “For days now some of Salvini’s statements have surprised me; sometimes it seems more controversial with me than with his opponents,” Meloni said Wednesday night, during an interview with the television channel La 7.

The reason is the different positions of the two parties to face the energy crisis, since Salvini would like to significantly increase public spending to help citizens pay rising bills due to inflation. On the contrary, Meloni maintains that the country must be more careful with its expenses, since it has a very high public debt (150% of GDP), and affirms that the current energy crisis will pass quickly because it is the result of speculation. “I do not understand the controversy and it seems to me quite unjustified,” Meloni has settled.

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