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Italian political party not included in US-made Russian funding report = Prime Minister Draghi | Reuters

Italian Prime Minister Draghi said on Thursday that Italian political parties were not included in a US intelligence report that accused Russia of interfering in the politics of more than 24 foreign countries. July 18, 2022. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Draghi said on Wednesday that Italian political parties were not included in a U.S. intelligence report that accused Russia of interfering in the politics of more than 24 foreign countries.

The US State Department on the 13th gave an overview of Russia’s interference to influence foreign politics. It also included support for an unnamed far-right nationalist party.

The report shocked Italy ahead of a general election on May 25 and resurfaced long-standing allegations that some political parties were being funded by Russia.

“The U.S. Secretary of State has confirmed that Italian political forces are not on the list of recipients of Russian funding,” Draghi said at a news conference after speaking with U.S. Secretary of State Brinken about the report. “U.S. intelligence agencies have found no evidence of slush funds from Russia to any candidate or party running in this election,” he said.

Russian influence has become a pivotal issue in the Italian election campaign.

Mr Draghi said Italy’s democracy was “strong” and not vulnerable to foreign powers or “puppets hired by them”. He also noted that Russia has attempted systematic misconduct in the United States and many European countries over the past two decades.

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