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Italy hopes for closer dialogue with Russia — PM

June 14, 21:54 UTC+3 ROME
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's visit to St. Petersburg to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will serve that purpose
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© EPA/GIUSEPPE LAMI

ROME, June 14. /TASS/. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Tuesday his country hopes for closer dialogue with Russia and his visit to St. Petersburg to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will serve this purpose.

"You know how difficult the current situation in relations between Russia and the European Union is. And you are sure to remember how much effort we have always been taking to maintain dialogue and avoid confrontation our other European partners have been seeking," Renzi wrote in a message to his supporters.

He stressed he is confident "the international community will only be stronger in its fight against terrorism and more efficient in resolution of various problems with Moscow’s support."

"That is why my visit to Russia it is a possibility for strengthening dialogue which is to help resume former relations," the Italian prime minister underscored.

Renzi will lead a representative delegation of more than 20 top executives of leading Italian companies to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. He said earlier that it is planned to sign a number of cooperation agreements with Russian partners. The program of Renzi’s visit also includes a speech at a forum’s plenary session and a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Founded in 1997, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is a major annual economy-related event in Russia that brings together country leaders, finance ministers, experts, top executives of Russian and foreign companies who discuss economic problems facing Russia and markets of developing countries. It is attended annually by up to 10,000 guests from more than 70 world countries. The forum is also a platform for signing major contracts. The Russian president has been attending this forum since 2005.

The previous forum took place in St. Petersburg on June 18-20, 2015. The 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will held in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg on June 16 through June 18, 2016. Russia’s Roscongress state-run fund that was established last year will host the forum. Key topics for discussion will include a new economic reality and new sources for growth.

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