The French online newspaper Mediapart publishes a Chapter from the book by Italian journalists Giovanni Titian and Stefano Vergine investigating communication of the Italian extreme right with Russia. A full investigation of the Italian journalists called “the Black book of the League” will be released in Italy February 28.
In the published Chapter describes in detail about how the leader of the Italian far-right “Northern League” Matteo Salvini led talks in Moscow with representatives of Russian authorities on the allocation of his party’s three million euros on the campaign. At the end of last week, Italian media has published the announcement of this investigation, in Moscow issued a denial.
According to journalists, representatives of the “League” from July 2018 were in direct contact with a Russian oil company Avangard Oil & gas, which not even the Internet site. “Avant-garde” belongs close to the Kremlin oligarch Konstantin Malofeev, who, as recalled by Mediapart, previously engaged in the financing of the extreme right in France.
On the Italian side for contact with the structures Malofeeva answered the former press Secretary of the “League” and now — President of “cultural Association “Lombardy-Russia”” Gianluca Savoini, having the data and close ties with the conservative Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin, close to Malofeev. Journalists argue that a lot of documents, confirming the contacts between the Director-General “Avant-garde” Alexei Ustanovim and Savoini.
It Savoini and Dugin agreed on the visit of Italian Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the “League” Matteo Salvini in Moscow, which eventually took place in October 2018. Investigative journalists Giovanni Titian and Stefano Virgin too, then went to Moscow and found inconsistencies in the official program Salvini and meetings in which he participated.
In particular, the book claims that on October 17, Salvini met with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, responsible for energy issues. According to journalists, the meeting was held in the office of the lawyer Vladimir Pligin and ended with dinner in very close company. The organizer of the meeting was the other Moscow lawyer Ilya Yakunin, he also participated the next day in the meeting in the hotel “Metropol”.
It was during this meeting on October 18th at the Metropole, the journalists, were discussed the conditions of the sale of diesel fuel between state-owned Rosneft and Italian ENI. According to the agreement, the Italian side had to buy fuel from Rosneft, the four percent discount. These 4% had to go on the funding campaign of the “League” in the upcoming elections to the European Parliament.
At the request of the Russians the parties also agreed on a further reduction to 6%, while the difference between 4 and 6 percent would have to back the Italians to the Russians. Payments for fuel had to be made between Rosneft and ENI, and pass through a single European Bank and the Russian legal Bureau. What — the meeting was not specified. Discount of 4%, which was discussed in the negotiations, could make a monthly order of 250 thousand Euro, which would in the course of the year to a total of three million euros.
Mediapart published in Chapter of “the Black book of the League” argued that journalists personally witnessed described the meeting in the Metropole. However, it is clarified that at the time of layout books from its authors had no information about what took place in the deal and on what terms.
On the publication of the Italian media have reacted in Moscow. “Kozak personally never been acquainted with Mr Salvini, they did not spend neither an official nor a “secret” meetings, espresso offices together not drinking,” — said the representative of the Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak Ilya juice in comments to the Agency “Interfax”. In the company “Rosneft” demanded the magazines La Stampa and L’espresso, published the first excerpts from the book, to give a denial, but in case of refusal threatened to sue.
Italian far-right party, the “League” (“League of the North”) on the results of parliamentary elections in 2018 together with the “five star Movement” has formed a coalition government. Its leader Matteo Salvini, who took the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of internal Affairs, openly supported the policy of Vladimir Putin and the abolition of anti-Russian sanctions.