Italy Plans To Return To Pre-Crisis Level Of Trade With Russia - Italian Ambassador

Italy Plans to Return to Pre-Crisis Level of Trade With Russia - Italian Ambassador

Italy intends to regain the pre-crisis level of trade with Russia and increase it up to 30 billion euros (almost $34 billion) annually, Italian Ambassador Pasquale Terracciano said Thursday

VORONEZH (Russia) (UrduPoint news / Sputnik - 14th March, 2019) Italy intends to regain the pre-crisis level of trade with Russia and increase it up to 30 billion Euros (almost $34 billion) annually, Italian Ambassador Pasquale Terracciano said Thursday.

"We intend to return to the pre-crisis indicators - 30 billion euros. There are mutual investments that have not shrunk, despite the economic crisis of recent years. On the contrary, Italian companies have opened new enterprises in Russia over the past years. Other companies intend to strengthen their presence in Russia as well," Terracciano said at the opening of the Italian-Russian business forum in the Russian city of Voronezh.

Russia is a strategic partner for Italy as the two sides closely cooperate on energy, while bilateral trade reached 21 billion euros last year, according to the ambassador.

"Italian entrepreneurs have never left Russia, even in the most difficult times.

Italian presence in Russia is driven not only by the desire to maximize profits, but is based on a long-standing relationship, strong relationship, which certainly promotes business meetings between the Italians and Russians," Terracciano added.

Relations between Moscow and the West deteriorated in 2014 after Crimea's reunification with Russia and amid the crisis in eastern Ukraine. The European Union and the United States imposed restrictive measures against Russian individuals, companies and economic sectors. Moscow has responded by imposing restrictions on food imports from the countries that supported the sanctions.

The new Italian government, which was formed in late May by a coalition comprising the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and the euroskeptic Lega party, has consistently called for the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions.

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