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Meeting with Prime Minister of Italy Enrico Letta

September 5, 2013, St Petersburg

Vladimir Putin met with Prime Minister of the Italian Republic Enrico Letta.

During their talks the parties discussed in particular the dynamics of their cooperation in trade and economic sphere.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr Prime Minister, dear friends,

I am very pleased to see you this time in St Petersburg. I want to thank your colleagues for their real help and support while preparing for today’s G20 summit.

Our bilateral relations continue to develop very actively. Italy is Russia’s fourth largest trading partner and our turnover is increasing from year to year, despite well-known problems in the global economy. And growth is significant, more than 23 percent a year.

Projects are developing in various directions: in energy, in machine-building. Mutual investment volumes are increasing. All this is good news; we are very pleased indeed.

And it is very good to have the opportunity to meet with you here today to discuss all these issues. Of course, this will benefit us and act as another incentive to develop bilateral ties.

Prime Minister of Italy Enrico Letta (re-translated): Mr President, first of all let me thank you for the warm welcome and the excellent preparations prior to this meeting. St Petersburg has been very welcoming. Yesterday night was enough to understand just how much Russia and Italy have in common. So thank you very much for bringing us to St Petersburg and, of course, for your excellent organisation of this event.

I am happy that our meeting today will facilitate our more in-depth talks, which will take place in Trieste in November. Since our work with Russia is a priority for us and an extremely important area, we hope that we will be able to reach a large number of agreements in a vast range of fields at our meeting in Trieste.

Of course energy is a key area in which we cooperate, but there are many others: for example Italian companies in Russia, their presence here and their possible involvement in capital investments.

I must tell you that our government is developing a programme, a programme to invest in Italy. It is designed so that in the months and years to come we will present it to the world’s major financial markets. We are not just talking about New York and London, but directly about Moscow. We need to talk about how to further develop the possibilities offered by privatisation, investment opportunities, and how to further our bilateral relations.

Certainly, Italy could be a very interesting investment. At the end of the year we expect to have a budgetary surplus. We expect to be able to cope with the problems of public debt and, accordingly, Italy is becoming a more interesting potential investment partner.

Vladimir Putin: In any case, for us Italy has always been and will remain a privileged partner to work with, despite some temporary difficulties. We know that the country will overcome this situation.

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September 5, 2013, St Petersburg