“Russian-Italian cooperation has always been and remains an indispensable force for stability in Europe and the world at large,” reads the congratulatory telegram. “It is important that this partnership now develop in all directions and be constantly stimulated by new initiatives. This whole process has been facilitated by the impressive degree of trust established during our contacts at the highest level. I well remember the warmth of the conversation I had with you in Bari, and I look forward to continuing an open and fruitful dialogue.
A striking symbol of the special nature of the relations between our two peoples is our designating 2011 as the Year of Italian Language and Culture in Russia and the Year of Russian Language and Culture in Italy.
Our countries are actively cooperating in the international arena within multilateral organisations and forums. I would like to note that this year's successful chairmanship of the G8 is a clear confirmation of Italy's international authority, and of its sincere desire to make concerted efforts to find solutions to the most complex and pressing challenges facing humanity today.”