The parties exchanged opinions on expanding bilateral cooperation in energy, investment, culture, the humanitarian sphere and other areas.
Vladimir Putin and Giuseppe Conte also discussed a range of international and regional matters, including developments in Syria and Libya, as well as the two countries’ cooperation in the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in light of Italy’s 2018 OSCE chairmanship.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, it is a pleasure to welcome you in the Moscow Kremlin, in Russia. We are very glad to see you.
In recent years, decades, Russia and Italy have developed very business-like and at the same time friendly relations supported by almost all the political forces both in Italy and in Russia. Despite the current difficult times, we have never lost the high level of political contacts and have always maintained them.
Unfortunately, Italy has somewhat stepped down as an economic partner on the Russian market, but trade between our countries remains extensive.
Italy is currently Russia’s sixth largest trading partner, with 500 Italian businesses working here, and we can see the trade volume growing steadily over the past two years.
We are very happy to see you, to discuss the current situation of our relations and outline the development prospects for Italian-Russian ties in the short and long term.
Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte: Mr President, I am very glad and grateful to you for the opportunity to have this meeting today.
Relations between Italy and Russia are characterised by unusual strength; I am referring to our ties in culture, economy and trade.
As you rightly said, despite all the difficulties we can see today in the international context, which I would define as quite delicate, we manage to preserve the quality and volume of our ties and relations, and I believe this proves the strength of our ties.
One of my visit’s goals is to examine once again how the potential of our ties and relations can be expanded.
If I may, I would like to begin this meeting with a request: I would like you to visit Italy as soon as possible. You have not been there for too long. I do not want the Italian people to get the impression that you do not pay enough attention to them.
Vladimir Putin: For my part, I would like to express my gratitude to the Mayor of Rome and the medical personnel who treated the football fans injured during the incident in the Rome subway.
Thank you very much.