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ST. PETERSBURG, June 17. /TASS/. Italy continues to be a friendly country for Russia despite geopolitical tensions, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Italian bank Intesa (Banca Intesa) Antonio Fallico said on Friday speaking at a round-table discussion Russia-Italy: Made with Italy, New Pillar for Stronger International Cooperation.
According to Fallico, "Italy is taking part in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) as a guest of honor for the first time, and a national pavilion is dedicated to Italy for the first time in the history of the forum." "This is the recognition of our achievements, the role played by Italy not only in developing the bilateral relations but also in terms of developing international cooperation and solving international problems where we have always tried to meet Russia halfway," he said.
"Today, of course, Italy remains a friendly country for Russia despite all geopolitical tensions that we will overcome sooner or later," Fallico said. He pointed to the importance of historical ties between the two counties and proximity of cultural traditions. He voiced confidence that participation in SPIEF, in particular, in the round-table discussion, "will make it possible to relaunch the two countries’ economic cooperation mechanism."
"Italy is involved in building a bridge of dialogue between EU and Russia and is trying to take part in creating a common space through to China," Fallico noted.
"Certainly, the markets have been seriously affected by the situation that has arisen due to sanctions and counter-sanctions," he went on to say. "All this prompts us to think of a new relationship model, hence the choice of the round table slogan - Made with Italy. This new model must be the backbone of our relations."
"The most interesting opportunities emerge in difficult situations, and our two countries have them," Fallico said, adding that an example to this effect is Italy’s pavilion at SPIEF bringing together 22 Italian companies, "which is to become a meeting place for our businesspeople and help overcome the problems that have arisen because of geopolitical tensions." "Russia should be not only a strategic market, but also a strategic country," he added.