An intelligence report recently published in the United States, claimed that Russia has spent more than $300 million to steer foreign policy since 2014, and had a wide repercussions in Italy during the election campaign.
After the report, eyes in Italy were turned to the far-right League Party leader Matteo Salvini, who has so far had close relations with Russia and has attracted attention with his rhetoric against the sanctions imposed on Russia.
Salvini stated that while he and his party were opposed to being associated with the allegations in question, they did not receive any money from abroad and that he would sue those who claim otherwise.
Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the Italian Brothers Party (FdI), which is in a center-right alliance with Salvini and is expected to emerge victorious in the elections according to the polls, also demanded that the issue be clarified immediately.
Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of Forza Italia, which is in the center-right alliance with Salvini and Meloni, also argued that the only party receiving funding from Moscow is the Italian Communist Party (Pci).
Democratic Party (PD) leader Enrico Letta called on the government to clarify the findings of US intelligence sources that the Russians are funding political parties in Europe.
The leader of the 5 Star Movement, Giuseppe Conte, also stated that the allegations that Russia provides funds to political parties may tarnish the election campaign on September 25 and that this issue will need to be handled carefully.
Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs and also the leader of the Civil Engagement Movement (IC), pointed out that there may not be a single file on the US intelligence report.
In his first statement, Senator Adolfo Urso, Chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence Committee (COPASIR), which is composed of senators and deputies, and also a member of the far-right FdI, said that he had spoken to the relevant security authorities on this issue and that Italy was not included in the US report, but that everything could change at any time.
In another statement he made later, Urso announced that they will meet on Friday as COPASIR to discuss this report. The Italian press wrote that the President of the Prime Ministry Security Committee, Franco Gabriele, was also invited to this meeting.
Meanwhile, the newspaper La Repubblica came out with the headline “Moneys from Moscow. Italy is in the US file”.
On the other hand, in a post on the Facebook account of the Russian Embassy in Rome, he stated that “the United States is trying to accuse Russia of meddling in the internal affairs of Western countries, especially the election process, and that this is an attempt to manipulate public opinion during the election period.”