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ROME, July 10 (Itar-Tass) - Russia and Italy are planning to have several meetings at the high level till the yearend, Russian Ambassador to Italy Sergei Razov said.
In an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass, Razov said, “Both parties praise the first contacts between the leaders at the G-8 summit. As I know the Russian president and the Italian prime minister will meet in St Petersburg in September.”
“We’re exerting much effort to prepare the 8th round of Russian-Italian expanded interstate consultations with the participation of the ministers of both countries. The consultations are expected to be held this autumn and will be the key event in the bilateral relations this year,” Razov stressed.
He said the agenda included several important events, particularly, the meeting between the ministers of foreign affairs and defence within the 2+2 format. Till the yearend the Russian-Italian Council for Economic, Industrial, Currency and Financial Cooperation is expected to gather in Italy. Russia will host the session of the bilateral commission for inter-parliamentary cooperation. Russia-Italy Tourism Year is scheduled for the end of the year, the Russian ambassador said.
“After the Bilateral Culture and Language Year was the success in 2011 Tourism Year should give our citizens more opportunities to learn about each other better,” Razov said.
Currently, the Russian Culture Ministry forms the joint programme of events. Special attention is planning to be paid to interaction between Russian and Italian regions, he added.
“The parties agreed to improve close contacts between the Most Beautiful Towns in Italy Association and the Union of Towns of Russia. Tour operators of both countries are planning to work out itineraries to visit interesting Russian and Italian cities,” the ambassador said.
He noted Russian tourists’ interest in Italy. The issuance of visas to Russian citizens has increased by 25 percent in 2013 as compared with last year. The ambassador said he is hopeful that tourism would help Italians learn more about Russia.