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Kremlin spokesman denies media allegations about Russia’s financing Italy’s Lega party

According to the presidential press secretary, BuzzFeed’s article is not about money

MOSCOW, July 12. /TASS/. The Kremlin bluntly denies media allegations about talks with Italy’s Lega (League) party on possible financing of that political force, Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

"Indeed, we took notice of the publication of these records," he said, commenting on BuzzFeed’s (a US website) article alleging that Lega had received financing from Russia. "We think it strange that it caused such fuss. Obviously, it is not about any money for the party. We can only express our bafflement."

"Not a single Italian party and not a single Italian politician have ever received any money from Russia, either directly or through any deals," Peskov stressed.

Lega’s leader and Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who is known for his positive attitudes to Russia, earlier denied BuzzFeed’s allegations point-blank and authorized his lawyers to defend the party against the allegations of receiving financing from Russia.

Milan’s prosecution authority has launched an international corruption probe into BuzzFeed’s and L’Espresso’s (an Italian news weekly) reports. The key suspect in the case is Gianluca Savoini, Salvini’s close associate and president of the Lombardy-Russia Association, whose voice is allegedly heard in BuzzFeed’s audio record featuring talks with Russian businessmen allegedly "close to the Kremlin," who discussed a possible oil purchase deal promising 65-million-euro dividends to the party.