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Di Maio urges investigation of Russian political funding claims

15 settembre 2022 | 18.39
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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The parliament elected in Italy's national election next week must probe United States claims that Russia has given at least 300 million dollars to political parties in over 20 countries since 2014, according to foreign minister Di Maio.

"It's very important that a parliamentary commission of inquiry gets to the bottom of these claims in the next legislature," Di Maio said during a visit to Naples on Thursday.

"We have been pushing for some time for a commission of inquiry on the relations between Italy's political leaders and parties and Russia," said Di Maio, who formed his centrist Civic Commitment party in June after splitting with the ruling anti-establishment 5-Star Movement.

But Di Maio urged caution in assessing the claims made by the US State Department this week in a summary of a recent intelligence report on Russia's alleged attempts to influence foreign politics, including funding for unnamed far-right nationalist parties.

"We mustn't make any more of this than what is known," Di Maio said.

In an interview with RaiNews24 earlier on Thursday, Di Maio denied that the 5-Star Movement received any Russian funds while he was its leader.

"While I was at 5-Star's helm...it never took any money from Moscow," Di Maio stated.

The Right-wing Brothers of Italy leader Giorgia Meloni - tipped to be Italy's next prime minister - and anti-immigrant League leader Matteo Salvini this week also denied receiving any Russian funds following the US State Department report.

The US report has sent shock-waves through Italy's electoral campaign ahead of 25 September polls that hard-right parties are expected to win.

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