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How Matteo Salvini became Putin’s man in Europe

The Italian public suffers from so much scandal fatigue that yet another one barely registers

By Tobias Jones   October 2019

Chamber of Commerce presentation of the book Putin Vita of a Tsar with Matteo Salvini. Photo: PA

Last autumn, three Italians travelled to Moscow to broker a deal for discounted oil. Among the group was Gianluca Savoini, a former spokesman for, and a close ally of, the Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini. The profits of the oil deal—estimated at €58m—would be used to boost the coffers of Salvini’s far-right Lega Party. But two undercover Italian journalists were also present in the hotel, and someone was secretly recording the…

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