MOSCOW, December 7. /TASS/. Russia is set to continue developing relations with Italy and respects the constitutional referendum held in the country on December 4, Russia’s Foreign Ministry official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
"Regardless of the political situation in Italy after the constitutional referendum, the Russian side is determined to maintain and further develop mutual beneficial ties between our countries in all directions," the diplomat said.
Russia considers that the referendum is Italy’s domestic affair and respects the choice of the Italian citizens, she stressed.
Moscow appreciates the contribution of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to enhancing cooperation. "He proved himself as the supporter of an active and constructive dialogue between Moscow and Rome."
"Matteo Renzi kept his word," Zakharova said. "This is an important characteristics of him as a politician."
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced on Monday that he intended to resign, conceding defeat in the December 4 constitutional referendum. Nearly 60% of those taking part in the plebiscite voted against parliamentary reform put forward by Renzi while over 40% voted in its favor. A record high voter turnout of 68.5% was recorded. The opposition had spoken out against Renzi’s initiatives insisting on his resignation in the event voters did not support him. Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella asked Renzi not to resign until the budget for 2017 is adopted.