Italian Companies to continue investing in Russian Economy despite sanctions

Italian companies actively invested in the Russian economy in 2016 and do not intend to stop cooperation with Russian partners this year, Italian Ambassador to Moscow Cesare Maria Ragaglini said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to Ragaglini, the decision of Russian authorities to diversify the economy provides great opportunities for Italian companies that use sophisticated technologies in nearly whole spectrum of production and paves the way for making productive investments and for setting up joint ventures with Russian partners.

"I should say that last year Italian companies actively invested in Russia. And this year the process will continue. I am sure that we have a great potential for further growth," Ragaglini told Rossiya 24 broadcaster.

Italy is among EU states, which continue active economic cooperation with Russia despite EU sanctions and has repeatedly called for lifting them. Several Italian regional councils have already approved resolutions, urging to lift anti-Russia sanctions and some Italian businessmen proposed mechanisms to bypass these restrictions.

In October 2016, Russia and Italy held the 14th session of the bilateral Council on Economic, Industrial, Monetary and Financial Cooperation, which was the first such meeting after a break of four years. The two states signed contracts worth 1.4 billion euros ($1.57 billion) at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in June 2016.