The sixth round of Russian-Italian interstate consultations was held under the chairmanship of Dmitry Medvedev and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Before the consultations, the President of Russia and Prime Minister of Italy held a bilateral meeting, at which they discussed the Iranian nuclear programme and the situation in Afghanistan. Silvio Berlusconi also spoke to Dmitry Medvedev about his recent visit to Minsk, his talks with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and his meeting with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The sixth round of Russian-Italian interstate consultations covered, among other things, Russia's relations with the European Union and NATO, the President of Russia's initiative to develop a new European Security Treaty and Russian-Italian cooperation in the G8 and G20.
Following the consultations 18 bilateral agreements were signed, including a programme for cooperation in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, a memorandum on cooperation in transport infrastructure development, an agreement between Russia's Gazprom and Italy's ENI for the South Stream pipeline project, an agreement on reciprocal recognition of education certification, and a protocol between the respective cultural ministries to hold the Year of Russian Language and Culture in Italy and the Year of Italian Language and Culture in Russia in 2011. There were also agreements related to cooperation in space, agriculture, tourism, small and medium businesses.
After the talks the President of Russia and the Prime Minister of Italy gave a joint news conference.
On the same day Dmitry Medvedev and Silvio Berlusconi presented joint President of Russia and Prime Minister of Italy awards for contributions to the development of friendship and cooperation between Russia and Italy. The awards were given to Russia’s Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu and head of Italy's National Civil Defence Guido Bertolazo.
This is the President of Russia's third visit to Italy this year. In March Mr Medvedev and Italian President Giorgio Napolitano attended the official ceremony of the handing back to Russia of the Russian Orthodox Church Metochion in Bari, and in July he participated in the G8 summit in L'Aquila.