Italian opposition demand Salvini say if Russia funded party

ROME (AP) — Opposition lawmakers want to question Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini about allegations a Russian oil deal was devised to fund his pro-Moscow League party.

Democratic Party lawmakers demanded Thursday that a parliamentary inquiry be held. They want to question Salvini, the BuzzFeed journalist who made the allegations, Italy's ambassador to Moscow, Russia's ambassador to Rome and a former Salvini associate who allegedly brokered the proposed deal.

The BuzzFeed article mirrored allegations months ago by Italian magazine L'Espresso that a former associate of Salvini arranged such a deal in Moscow in 2018. Salvini said again Thursday that the League never took Russian funds.

BuzzFeed says it obtained the audio of the conversation, involving Italians and Russians at a Moscow hotel.

Salvini opposes economic sanctions against Russia, saying they hurt Italian exports.