In late March, Russia sent to Italy a group of epidemiologists and specialists from radiation, chemical and biological protection troops of the Defense Ministry to help disinfect medical facilities in Italy.
The Russian specialists are working in Lombardy, a region of Italy that has suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic most. Russia also sent equipment for disinfection and diagnostics to Italy.
The Italian press later wrote that such assistance was "of little use" and claimed that it pursues political goals in the first place.
According to La Stampa newspaper, 80% of Russia's assistance to Italy for the struggle against the coronavirus infection was completely useless or of little use for the country, the newspaper wrote citing unnamed high-ranking sources.
La Stampa compared Russia's assistance to that from China that sent artificial respirator units and medical masks to Italy.
Supposedly, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte agreed to accept Russia's assistance to strengthen personal relations with Moscow.
Russian officials claim that Russia is helping Italy with no strings attached. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia does not have any "counter hopes" for Italy to veto the extension of sanctions against Russia for the assistance provided.
Both Russia and Ukraine have been increasing their military presence on the border between the two countries lately. Russia warned Ukraine against any military scenarios