Approximately 80% of the coronavirus stocks that Russia has shipped to Italy are “useless,” the country’s La Stampa daily proclaimed Wednesday, citing high-level political sources.
Russia granted 600 ventilators and 100 military virologists and epidemiologists to Italy after discussions between President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte last Saturday. Footage of Russian military wagons en route from Rome to the coronavirus epicentre of Bergamo disseminated online this week.
“Eighty percent of Russian supplies are useless or of limited use to Italy. In short, this is little more than a pretext,” an unnamed reference reported to La Stampa.
The source told the Russian supplies consist of disinfection equipment, a field laboratory for sterilization and chemical prevention, and other related tools.
La Stampa’s sources alleged that Putin is seeking geopolitical and diplomatic openings with the aid package entitled “From Russia With Love,” while Conte received the aid to ensure a good personal relationship with Moscow.
Russia’s Ambassador to Italy Sergei Razov dismissed La Stampa’s report as “perverse.”
“Such assertions are the product of a perverse mind. A selfless desire to help a friendly people in trouble is seen as insidious,” Razov told Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency.