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Acting President and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini

January 20, 2000, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin and Lamberto Dini expressed their high opinion of the present state of Russian-Italian relations, stressing that they play a major role in global stability and security. Each country has the political will to build up bilateral cooperation.

Mr Putin and Mr Dini discussed prospects for expanding trade and economic cooperation, and implementing joint investment projects.

The acting president and Italy’s foreign minister focused on a number of foreign policy issues, including plans to continue the reform of the United Nations Organisation and its Security Council.

Mr Putin and Mr Dini share the opinion that it was important to exercise caution in reforming the UN.

During the conversation, the two parties confirmed their interest in expanding Russia’s contacts with the European Union and the Group of Eight. Mr Putin said that the forthcoming meeting of foreign ministers of Italy, Germany and Russia was a good example of strengthening ties on the European continent.

Italy’s foreign minister said that it was impossible to imagine global and European politics without Russia’s active involvement.

Mr Dini also showed interest in restoring Russia-NATO relations. Touching on the problem of settlement in the Balkans, the two sides stressed the need to preserve the territorial integrity of the existing states.

Russia’s acting president informed Mr Dini about the developments in the North Caucasus and on measures taken by the Russian government to reach political settlement in the region. Mr Putin said that Russia was ready for a broader cooperation with international organisations in this matter.

The Italian foreign minister invited Mr Putin to visit Italy. The acting president accepted the invitation with gratitude, but said that his visit was possible only after the presidential election. In turn, he asked Mr Dini to extend his invitation to Prime Minister Massimo d’Alema and President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi to visit Russia during the year.

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Deputy Chief of Staff of Presidential Executive Office Sergei Prikhodko also took part in the talks.

January 20, 2000, The Kremlin, Moscow