Conte: Putin never would have thought to use the assistance of Italy in fighting the coronavirus as leverage

The Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte in an interview with the BBC on April 9, was named offensive assumption that Russia wanted to extract political advantage, sending Italy to help fight the epidemic of coronavirus.

He said that such insinuations it was “deeply insulting”.

“It is an insult to the Italian government… and [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, which I would have never thought to use it as leverage [influence],” added Conte.

At the end of March, Russia sent to Italy 15 aircraft Il-76 “with the equipment for diagnostics and carrying out disinfection measures,” reported the Ministry of defense.

On 25 March the Italian newspaper La Stampa, citing sources wrote that 80% of the cargo sent by Russia, was useless. Russia, in particular, gave Italy the equipment for the decontamination of territories, while China supplies artificial lungs ventilation machines and masks that are missing in the country.

The sources suggested that, to provide support for Italy, Russia pursues political and diplomatic interests, and Conte agreed to take her, to strengthen personal relations with Moscow.

In addition, La Stampa noticed that arrive in Italy Russian military experts, who move freely throughout the country.

The speaker of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova called material La Stampa “fake”, the aim of which is “distorting Russia’s actions in connection with the sanitary-epidemiological crisis in Italy”.

After the publication of La Stampa on the website change.org was created a petition asking the Italian authorities to explain the purpose of the stay of Russian military physicians in the country. It was signed by 666 people.

Flash coronavirus infection began in December 2019 in China. March 11, the world health organization declared the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. According to data from the American Johns Hopkins University, the total number of infected people in the world exceeded the 1.49 million, of which 88 982 died, more than 332 thousand recovered.

According to the Italian authorities on the evening of 8 April, the country coronavirus has infected 139 422 people, of which 26 491 recovered, and died 17 669. Italy ranks third in the world in the number of infected and the first – the number of deaths.

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