14:50 GMT23 February 2020
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    Following a visit to Washington on 17 June by Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, some have accused him of ‘selling’ Italy to Washington. However, the deputy PM has his own perspective on the matter.

    Following his visit to Washington, many accused Salvini of ‘selling out’ to the US, while ;betraying’ Russia, with whom Italy has a high degree of economic cooperation.

    The Canada-based Centre for Research and Globalization report recently asserted: “from the point of view of the Italian perspective, […] Minister Salvini, with a view to finding external support for his ongoing election campaign in Europe, would have unreservedly hooked Italy to questionable and potentially pernicious scenarios for the interest and security of our country.”

    Answering Sputnik’s question as to whether these allegations are true, Salvini acknowledged that there only one entity to which he would ‘sell out’.

    “Whenever I fly to the US, [the newspapers] write that I’ve ‘sold out’ to [US President Donald] Trump. Whenever I fly to Russia, they write that I’ve ‘sold out’ to Putin. The only thing I could have ‘sold out’ to is [football club] AC Milan,” the deputy prime minister quipped.

    Born in Milan, Salvini is known to be a devoted fan and supporter of the city’s AC Milan football club. His heartfelt public expressions of disappointment with the club’s performance found him at odds with Milan’s coach, Gennaro Gattuso, in November 2018.

    When asked whether Salvini will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the latter’s upcoming visit to Italy this summer, Salvini replied: “of course.”


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