Divisions between Italy and Russia on international politics cannot be an obstacle for good economic relations between the two countries, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said at a joint news conference with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich on Wednesday after a meeting of the Russian-Italian Council on Economic, Industrial, Monetary and Financial Cooperation.
“The fact that the meeting was held after a four-year-long break can be a positive sign manifesting the choice of our governments. It reflects Italy’s traditional line amid complicated relations between the European Union and Russia. Abiding by the EU policy to Russia, we have always maintained an open dialogue with Moscow in common interests,” Gentiloni said, noting that “the lack of a dialogue even creates a dangerous situation.”
The Italian foreign minister has admitted that the divisions exist.
“The crises cannot freeze a dialogue and cooperation,” he said. “Controversy does not create obstacles for economic relations, which may improve political climate.”
“We believe that our economic relations should move up a gear,” Gentiloni said, adding that the Russian government’s policy of the economy’s diversification created additional opportunities for stepping up cooperation in the sectors of high technology, medicine, industry and agriculture.
A bilateral tourism agreement was inked at the Council’s meeting, he added.