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SIMFEROPOL, October 16. /TASS/. The delegation of Italian businessmen is due to visit Russia’s Crimean Republic again in April 2017 to attend the third Yalta International Economic Forum (YIEF), the press service of the forum said on Sunday.
"As of today the Italian delegation has reserved 50 seats at the YIEF in 2017," the statement said. During the forum, the Italians plan to sign a range of "contracts based on memorandums of understanding" reached at the meetings with Crimea’s entrepreneurs on Friday and Saturday.
In particular, a contract may be inked at the forum on building a plant in Russia on producing turkey meat. A protocol of intentions may be signed on constructing a five-star hotel in the capital Simferopol and an agreement on joint production of Italian-Crimean wine, the press service said.
The YIEF forum will be held in Crimea’s resort city Yalta on April 20-22, 2017.
The delegation of MPs and businessmen from five Italian regions - Veneto, Liguria, Lombardy, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna - arrived in Crimea to discuss with local authorities and business community the issues of cooperation and the prospects of lifting the Western sanctions. The regional parliaments of these regions adopted resolutions earlier this year calling to recognize Crimea and cancel sanctions against Russia.
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of Kiev authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.
Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deal on March 18, 2014. On March 21, the document was ratified by Russia’s Federal Assembly. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev, the US and the EU refused to recognize Crimea as Russia’s territory.