The Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Manlio Di Stefano, today attended the Kiev International Economic Forum and met with the Deputy Prime Minister Kuleba, the Minister of Economy Milovanov and the Deputy Foreign Minister Bodnar. The Undersecretary also met with the Italian business community.
On top of the visit’s agenda was the common commitment to give impulse to the already excellent relations between Italy and Ukraine, in the wake of the recent talks between Prime Minister Conte and President Zelensky. The aim is to continue consolidating economic cooperation and the trade flows recorded over the past few years, which reached 4.3 billion euros in 2018. In this context, Hon. Di Stefano praised the institutional and structural reforms undertaken by the Ukrainian Authorities as an essential driver of growth and an attraction of investments.
In the talks, the Undersecretary focused on the situation in the Country’s eastern regions and reaffirmed Italy’s full support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity, praising the political courage and leadership shown by President Zelensky in the past few months in relaunching negotiations over the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, which remain the only regulatory framework within which it is possible to find a peaceful and sustainable solution to the crisis and to which all the parties must contribute in a spirit of good will in order to put an end to the conflict that has produced a death toll of 13,000 and inflicted enormous suffering on the population.
Within the scope of its own competence, Italy is ready to foster dialogue in order to single out effective and sustainable ways of tangibly enforcing the security clauses, starting with the ceasefire and the withdrawal of the armaments, as well as the political clauses of the Minsk Agreements. To this end, we also expect the Russian Federation to do its share and to assure a constructive approach within the Trilateral Contact Group and the Normandy Format, so as to make progress along the roadmap plotted.