MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. Moscow and Rome plan to develop the existing multilateral political, economic and cultural cooperation, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Tuesday.
"[The two sides] will continue the trust-based dialogue with an eye on further development of multifaceted Russian-Italian cooperation in the political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, primarily in light of work to implement the agreements reached at the top level," the ministry said in a statement in connection with a working visit to Russia by Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano posted on its website.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that Italy is one of Russia’s leading political and economic partners in Europe, adding that relations with it "have always been distinguished by mutual understanding and trust." "High-level and top-level contacts have been maintained. Multifaceted interaction has been established between the two countries’ parliaments, judicial authorities, ministries and government agencies, regions, research and educational institutions, cultural organizations and civil societies," the ministry noted.
The Russian Foreign Ministry noted positive trends in trade and economic cooperation. "During the first eleven months of 2017, trade turnover amounted to $21.4 bln, a 18-percent increase compared to the same period in 2016. These figures were ensured, in particular, thanks to the rhythmic work of the Russian-Italian Council on Economic, Industrial, Monetary and Financial Cooperation whose latest session was held on November 7, 2017, in Moscow," the ministry added.
The ministry pointed to an invariably high level of cultural cooperation. "A special quality of interaction in the cultural and humanitarian sphere has traditionally been a distinctive feature of Russian-Italian relations. In 2018, more than 250 events will be presented to the Italian public in 40 cities in Italy, including performances by the best Russian theater, ballet and concert companies, exhibitions involving largest museums," the ministry said. Italy is expected to organize similar events in Russia.