Italian newspapers have issued front-page warnings of alleged Russian interference in the upcoming election on Friday. This comes as a response to comments from Russia’s former president urging Europeans to ‘“punish” their “stupid” governments.
Former president and current deputy chair of Russia’s security council, Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday called for Europeans to be “not only outraged at the actions of their governments… but to hold them to account and punish them for their obvious stupidity”.
“Act, European neighbours! Don’t remain silent! Demand accountability!” he said on Telegram.
Following Medvedev’s comments, The Repubblica and Il Messaggero front pages on Friday wrote of Russian “interference”, while the Corriere della Sera said Russia was “agitating” political waters ahead of the vote due to be held on 25 September.
Right-wing League leader Matteo Salvini said Friday that Russia won’t “minimally” affect the September 25 general election in Italy.
Salvini is being criticized for his alleged close links with Putin
Salvini in 2017 when the nationalist Italian leader said of the Russian one that “I admire him and respect him”.
On Friday Salvini said he had not been to Russia for years and had not contacts with Russian politicians for years.
“I haven’t been to Russia for years and I haven’t had contacts with Russian politicians for years. I’m busy with Italy,” he said.
“I hope the (Italian) Left doesn’t spend another 30 days speaking of (this), about Martians and insults”.
Photo – Italian Senator and leader of Lega party Matteo Salvini. EPA-EFE/SIMONE ARVEDA