VERONA, October 20. /TASS/. Economic cooperation between Russia and Italy has not deteriorated despite the negative political background of the recent years, Antonio Fallico, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Banca Intesa and President of Conoscere Eurasia Association, said on Thursday.
"Economic cooperation has not declined. Moreover, our companies made their contribution to fostering relations," Fallico said opening the Fifth Eurasian Forum organized by his association with the support of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) and the Roscongress Foundation.
He noted that "economic needs cannot be ignored by politics."
According to Banca Intesa’s analytical department, anti-Russian sanctions have incurred a freeze in Italian contracts worth a total of € 32 bln. "This concerns, for the most part, the agreements with Russian partners that have already been signed," said the document released in the run-up to the forum. It noted that so far the trend of a decline in exports persists, adding that it dropped 7% in the first seven months of this year.
The forum held in Verona’s Palazzo della Gran Guardia, has brought together representatives of more than 600 Italian and Russian companies. Among its participants are the heads of Russia’s energy giants, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson as well as former Italian Prime Minister and European Commission President Romano Prodi. The forum traditionally focuses on the development of economic cooperation with the European Union seen as a promising market not only for Italy, but also for all of Europe.