The Italian-Russian energy partnership is a “model” and the government has renewed its commitment “to continue its support for the Southstream gas pipeline project in an ever-more open and multilateral manner”. The point was underscored by Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi at the close of a meeting with Russia’s Deputy Premier, Dmitry Rogozin, at the Farnesina today. Russia, as Terzi pointed out, is Italy’s second gas and oil supplier.
International issues and bilateral relations
The talks covered international issues and bilateral relations, in the run-up to Minister Terzi’s visit to Moscow with other Italian colleagues for the Italian-Russian Economic and Financial Cooperation Council. The visit, on Monday 17 December, will provide an opportunity to examine partnership possibilities in a number of sectors, such as energy, transport, communications and aeronautical, explained the foreign minister. He also stressed the opportunity for infrastructure investment, with the Moscow and St. Petersburg high-speed rail lines and the Football World Cup in 2018.
Collaboration between “intellectual resources”
Deputy Premier Rogozin emphasised the potential for collaboration by “intellectual resources” in the two countries, to achieve greater competitiveness on the international markets. He mentioned the enormous potential for development in eastern Russia, and the government’s desire to attract foreign investment through significant fiscal advantages, such as zero income tax for start-ups in their first 10 years.
The two ministers also discussed Syria, on which subject, said Terzi, Italy and Russia have “a shared vision of the need to find a political solution to the terrible crisis”. Albeit, he added, “with differences in recent months between the government positions in Moscow and Rome, and the other European countries”. Rogozin, for his part, criticised the external interference in the crisis and pointed out that the UN is the forum to find a solution that will bring peace.