21:19 GMT +312 November 2019
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    Matteo Salvini gives his speech during the traditional League party rally in Pontida, northern Italy, Sunday, July 1, 2018

    Italy's Salvini Says Leaked Document on Alleged Russian Funding 'Not Serious'

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Former Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Lega party leader Matteo Salvini dismissed on Wednesday a leaked document alleging a $1.6 billion deal between his party members and Russian officials as not serious.

    "There is not a dollar, a lira, a florin, a ruble. I never saw or asked for anything and no one in the League [Lega] saw or asked for anything. They [La Repubblica and Il Fatto Quotidiano] can make up and publish all the pictures they want. We're expecting the probe to end, which has gone on for a year. Let's talk about serious things. This is not a serious thing," Salvini said as quoted by the ANSA news agency.

    A copy of a document that was published by the Italian media earlier in the day provided alleged information regarding former Salvini spokesman Gianluca Savoini and two other Italians meeting with a group of Russians in Moscow in October 2018. The media claimed that the parties agreed to share the proceeds from diesel shipments, with 4 per cent going to Lega and 6 per cent to the Russian intermediaries.

    The allegations of Lega's collusion with Russia first emerged in February when US-based website Buzzfeed claimed it had an audiotape of a secret meeting in Moscow between Salvini’s aide and Russian officials. In the recording, the men were allegedly heard discussing a plan that would allow Russia to covertly transfer tens of millions of dollars of oil money to Lega. Moscow, as well as Salvini, has repeatedly refuted such allegations.

    Russia, Matteo Salvini, Italy
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