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Italy's Salvini bows to pressure to respond on Russia report

Italy's Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini has bowed to days of pressure and agreed to respond to questions in Parliament about allegations that an associate sought Russian money for Salvini's pro-Moscow League party.

The associate, Gianluca Savoini, is under investigation by Milan prosecutors for alleged international corruption stemming from reports that he discussed the financing plan during a meeting with Russian officials in Moscow last year, months after the populist League came to power in a coalition government with the 5-Star Movement.

Salvini had initially distanced himself from Savoini, denied taking any money from Russia and brushed off opposition demands to respond in Parliament. But as calls increased and extended to his 5-Star coalition partner, he agreed Tuesday.

Italian Deputy-Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini meets the media in Rome, Monday, July 15, 2019. The Italian premier's office on Sunday distanced itself from a lobbyist who is under investigation for allegedly seeking Russian money for Interior Minister Matteo Salvini's pro-Moscow League party, saying the man attended a recent dinner for visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin only because a Salvini adviser intervened on his behalf. (Maurizio BrambattiANSA via AP)

Salvini said he would respond to lawmakers "about everything humanly knowable" during a regular question-and-answer appearance in Parliament.