Embassy comment on speculations around Russia’s aid to Italy

We have been dismayed by the article “Putin flexes soft power muscles with medical aid airlift to Italy” appearing in the Financial Times on 24 March. It contains perverted facts along with politicised statements from experts whose world view does not accept good deeds by Russia.

The aid provided to Italy is a gesture of solidarity and is aimed at supporting the friendly Italian nation that is finding itself in a severe situation due to the coronavirus epidemic and selflessly resisting the spread of the infection. This aid is provided upon a request from the Italian government and has been agreed with them. Apart from that, we reckon that the Russian experts will obtain experience in Italy that will help in fighting the disease in Russia itself.

Italy has requested assistance not only from Russia, but from many other countries as well, including China, fairly believing that the fight against COVID-19 is a task requiring international coordination and solidarity among all nations. It is becoming evident that no single state can now overcome the disease by itself.

We regret that in such circumstances some journalists and commentators are trying to find a negative perspective and look at basic gestures of humanity through the prism of “power” and competition between states.

24 March 2020, 20:00