President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,
I am happy to welcome you to the Kremlin.
The current situation is far from simple, but your visit has set a positive tone. We hope to be able to settle all the problems and misunderstandings so as to resume positive cooperation.
Italy is an old and highly reliable partner for Russia. Unfortunately, our trade has plunged by 60 percent over the past few years. However, there are also positive trends, and this year our trade has grown by over 33 percent.
We have very deep and close cultural relations that go back a long way. We also have many friends in Italy.
We are happy to see you here. Welcome to Moscow
President of Italy Sergio Mattarella (retranslated): Mr President, thank you for this warm welcome, and most importantly, thank you for the invitation.
I would like to once again express our condolences over the tragedy in St Petersburg, a wonderful city and your home town. I know St Petersburg, and this is why I can imagine how heavy the blow has been.
It is a fresh indication that we need to fight terrorism together. Cooperation between our law enforcement and security agencies must be focused on the fight against this evil.
Friendly ties between our countries are very strong. We have very good bilateral relations. Despite the current challenges and the difficult period we are going through, we have managed to maintain our economic cooperation at an acceptable level. We hope to bring our cooperation back to the previous level in the near future and subsequently to strengthen it, because Italy and Russia are linked by very strong ties of friendship.
Thank you, Mr President.