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Beginning of meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

March 5, 2015

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, colleagues,

I am happy to welcome you in Moscow. I know you have had a busy day – I hope you are not too tired to have this conversation.

Italy is undoubtedly one of our privileged partners in Europe and the world at large. Regardless of the situation, our trade and economic relations are doing quite well. There are some losses due to obvious reasons, but generally, we are doing fine: Italy ranks fourth among our partners in the world in terms of trade turnover.

We are working together in the power industry, in mechanical engineering, space exploration, nuclear power – I cannot think of an area where we do not cooperate.

Our political dialogue is also quite active. I am very happy for this opportunity to meet you in Russia to discuss all the issues of mutual interest.

Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi (retranslated): Thank you, Mr President. Thank you for receiving us. This is our third meeting in the past four months; however, I have to admit this is my first time in the Kremlin.

True, there is an entire range of issues I would like to discuss with you in detail. This primarily has to do with relations between the European Union and Russia, particularly within the context of the Ukrainian crisis. I would also like to discuss the situation in the Mediterranean – the complicated situation in Libya.

There are also a large number of issues pertaining to our bilateral cooperation. Without exaggeration, they range from space exploration, where we are very proud to say we now have an Italian female astronaut, to very ‘earthly’ things such as the agro-industrial complex and food production, which are also of great interest for both parties.

Vladimir Putin: We wish your compatriot a successful landing on May 11.

Matteo Renzi: This is the first Italian woman in orbit.

Vladimir Putin: She is representing Italian women with honour.

Matteo Renzi: True. Strictly speaking, we have quite a few women at all levels and in all spheres of activity. This includes Ms Mogherini, whom you had a chance to talk to when she was Foreign Minister. Now, as you may know, she is High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Policy, and Mr Lavrov has met with her on numerous occasions.

Actually, I believe there are many more issues we need to discuss and we welcome this opportunity.

Vladimir Putin: I agree.


March 5, 2015