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MOSCOW, November 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s newspapers are actively discussing the Russian president’s visit to Italy and the interstate consultations between Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta in Trieste, northeastern Italy, after a three-year pause.
A special focus during the consultations was placed on economy, Rossiyskaya Gazeta wrote. Last year’s trade between Italy and Russia reached $45.8 billion. In January-September it grew almost by 25 percent. In the first half of the year accrued Italian investment in Russia totaled $943 million and Russian investment in the Italian economy - $428 million.
Italy is the second-largest buyer of Russian gas in Western Europe after Germany. Its companies participate in the South Stream gas pipeline project, develop offshore deposits in the Black and Barents seas and gas fields on the Yamal Peninsula in northwestern Siberia. Russia’s oil giants LUKOIL and Rosneft develop oil on Sicily and Sardinia, islands in the Mediterranean Sea.
The two countries boost cooperation in industry and high technologies. Russian companies inject funds into metallurgy. Italian enterprises participate in the construction of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, a fly-by-wire regional jet, and manufacture agricultural machinery and tires in Russia. Sukhoi Superject 100 was one of the issues on the Trieste talks’ agenda. “We speak not about a familiar and western-partners-tested scheme of licensed assembling, but about joint creation of a principally new competitive aviation platform and full-fledged infrastructure of after-sale services,” head of the United Aircraft Building Corporation, Mikhail Pogosyan said. “We speak about how both partners can get new skills and opportunities to enter new markets.”
Russia and Italy signed a total of 30 agreements, of them thirteen in the presence of the two countries’ leaders. Deals were inked among the two countries’ ministries of interior affairs, health, labor and culture and customs services. The head of the Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft, Igor Sechin, signed several documents. Vnesheconombank, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and Skolkovo Foundation responsible for Russia’s same-name innovative hub also concluded memorandums with Italian partners.
Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that the two countries’ interior ministers put their signatures to a joint anti-crime action plan and healthcare ministers - to a memorandum on joint activities. Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and his Italian counterpart signed a statement on cooperation in returning stolen cultural values and on joint years of tourism in Russia and in Italy.
The daily noted that Italian journalists demonstrated interest in “mutual accusations by Russia and the European Union” over Ukraine’s rejection to sign an association deal with the EU. “Ukraine should find its road on its own,” Vladimir Putin said. “Therefore I would request our friends in Brussels to refrain from making strong statements.”
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