Concerns have arisen in Italian political circles and media about the so-called "humanitarian assistance" that Russia is providing to the country to combat the coronavirus.

That's according to Europeiska Pravda citing Italy's La Stampa.

According to senior sources of the publication, Russia is far from being guided by solely humanitarian motives, but rather pursues its own political and diplomatic interests.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the newspaper writes, agreed to accept Russian assistance to "strengthen wonderful personal relations" with Moscow.

However, as the sources of the publication note, 80% of Russian deliveries are "absolutely useless or of little use" for Italy to fight COVID-19, being nothing more than an excuse.

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Russia deployed equipment for disinfection of territories and other similar special equipment, while China, for example, delivered medical face masks and mechanical ventilation devices.

The publication raises concerns over the fact that all experts deployed are military, while the entire operation is being coordinated by Russia's defense ministry, not the ministry of health.

All military are high-ranking: generals, colonels, and majors, and "move freely around Italy, a few steps from NATO bases."

"In coronavirus, Putin saw an opportunity to gain a foothold in the Italian political arena, and the Italian prime minister didn't hesitate to support him amid this difficult crisis, accepting all this to consolidate wonderful personal relations with the political side of Moscow," the newspaper writes.