Russian Ambassador in Rome, Sergey Razov claimed in an interview that the Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted the Italian Prime Minister’s offer to visit Italy in the first half of 2019. Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had met with the Russian President back in October 2018, as part of the Italian Minister’s official visit to Moscow. In the closing ceremony, the Italian Prime Minister thanked President Putin for his hospitality and offered to receive the Russian head in Rome in due course.
The Russian Ambassador claimed that the time-frame of the eventual visit will be negotiated by diplomatic delegations at a later stage. Ambassador Razov characterised the forthcoming visit as an important event in the history of the two countries’ bilateral relations. Russia and Italy have established close cooperation in recent years particularly in the areas of combatting transnational terrorism, in Syria’s civil war and Lebanon’s political turmoil.
Financial cooperation also remains fruitful with bilateral trade figures exceeding the threshold of $25 billion in 2018. These financial scores ranked Italy the fifth best commercial partner in Russia’s trading list and third in terms of the volume of merchandise arriving from E.U. countries. Major contributors to these financial figures have been the 400 Italian companies currently operating in the Russian market. These companies participate across multiple fields of the Russian economy, most notably in the agricultural, energy and transportation sectors.