Italy's League denounces suggestion of Russia funding

Italy's League party is denouncing billionaire philanthropist George Soros for having publicly questioned whether the right-wing, anti-immigrant party received financing from Russia.

Soros' comments, delivered Sunday at an economic forum in northern Italy, focused attention on the pro-Moscow agenda of Italy's new euroskeptic League and 5-Star Movement government.

Soros was asked about possible Russian interference in Italy's foreign policy. He said he was "very worried" that Russia was exercising "negative influence" in Europe, and said Italians had a right to ask if Moscow was financially supporting the League.

League leader Matteo Salvini shot back saying the party had "never received a lira, euro or ruble from Russia," though he said Russian President Vladimir Putin was "one of the best statesman."

The Leage-5-Star agenda proposes ending European Union sanctions on Moscow.