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MOSCOW, December 9 (Itar-Tass) —— Italy’s new government will stick to the course towards friendship with Russia, Italian ambassador to Moscow Antonio Zanardi Landi said at a meeting with speaker of the Russian Federation Council upper parliament house Valentina Matviyenko.
Touching on prospects for further development of relations between the two countries, he said his country’s government wants to continue cooperation in a friendly atmosphere as Russia and Italy used to have when the Italian government was led by Silvio Berlusconi. Italy’s former prime minister, the ambassador recalled, “was a good friend of Russia and has played an important role to bring Russia closer to Europe.”
“I would like to stress once again our commitment and big interest to cooperation with Russia, to implementing joint projects,” he said. “This interest is demonstrated not merely by the government but by Italy’s entire people.” In order to prove its intentions, Rome plans to organize visits to Moscow by various ministers of the new cabinet. He added.
The speaker of the Russian upper parliament house spoke in favour of closer ties between parliaments and regions of the two countries. Thus, she suggested to look at updating the 1996 agreement on cooperation between the two legislatures. According to Matviyenko, a new document is needed to take into account “realities of the present day.”
Apart from that, she expressed regret over little progress in visa-abolishment negotiations with the European Union, which “holds back business contacts.” In her words, “Both European Union countries and Moscow are equally interested in abolishing visas,” he noted and expressed the hope for Italy’s support in the discussion of this subject within the European Union.