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"Punish for stupidity": Medvedev rages on Instagram - now Italy fears election interference

2022-08-19T14:36:33.591Z

"Punish for stupidity": Medvedev rages on Instagram - now Italy fears election interference Created: 08/19/2022, 16:25 Italy election: Matteo Salvini in May during a TV talk in front of Vladimir Putin's likeness. © IMAGO/Massimo Di Vita Italy will soon elect a new parliament - and now fears that the Kremlin will influence it. The occasion is a new tirade by Putin's mouthpiece, Dmitry Medvedev.



"Punish for stupidity": Medvedev rages on Instagram - now Italy fears election interference

Created: 08/19/2022, 16:25

Italy election: Matteo Salvini in May during a TV talk in front of Vladimir Putin's likeness.

© IMAGO/Massimo Di Vita

Italy will soon elect a new parliament - and now fears that the Kremlin will influence it.

The occasion is a new tirade by Putin's mouthpiece, Dmitry Medvedev.

Rome – Italy will elect a new parliament in September.

In addition to the many imponderables of finding a majority, there is also concern in Rome about the possible role of Russia.

A statement by the Kremlin's former head, Dmitry Medvedev, prompted allegations of "meddling" on Friday.

Russia and the Italian elections: Medvedev calls for "punishment for stupidity" - Foreign Minister outraged

Medvedev wrote on Telegram on Thursday that Russia "would not only want European citizens to stand up against the actions of their governments," but also "hold them accountable and punish them for their blatant stupidity."

“So act, European neighbors!

Don't stay silent!

Demand accountability!” demanded Medvedev.

The former president is currently “only” vice-chairman of the Russian Security Council, but he repeatedly causes a stir in Western Europe with threats that are sometimes more or less harsh.

Italian newspapers took his most recent statement as an announcement to Italy: "Russian interference" headlined the daily

La Repubblica

on Friday.

Similarly,

Il Messaggero

headlined , while

Corriere della Sera

wrote: "Russia disrupts Italian election".

But the statements were also met with outrage among Italy's politicians.

Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio condemned the contribution as "Russian interference in the elections in Italy" and called for the Italian parties to oppose it as one.

The head of the center-left PD party, Enrico Letta, said Moscow was trying to change the direction of Italian foreign policy: Rome has been “very clearly on the side of the EU and NATO since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine”.

Salvini long on course for Putin: right-wing populist appeased before the Italian elections

If, as initial polls seemed to indicate, a right-wing electoral alliance wins the parliamentary elections on September 25, Italy's Russia policy could change.

While Giorgia Meloni's far-right Fratelli d'Italia has sided with Ukraine, both right-wing populist Matteo Salvini's League and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia have longstanding ties to Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In 2017, the Lega even signed a cooperation pact with Putin's United Russia party.

Salvini, who has liked to pose in T-shirts with Putin's portrait in the past, stressed on Friday that he "had not been to Russia for years".

Moscow has "not the slightest influence on the election in Italy," he claimed during an appearance in Milan.

It is undisputed that the Kremlin would like a change of government in Rome: the government of outgoing Prime Minister Mario Draghi had sharply condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and supported Kyiv with arms deliveries and humanitarian aid.

The allegation of Russian electoral interference is not new either.

Concerns about this dominated the headlines for weeks after the 2016 US presidential election.

However, these involved more subtle methods than public postings on Telegram.

(

AFP/fn

)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2022-08-19

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