14 October 202014:20

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy Luigi Di Maio, Moscow, October 14, 2020

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Mr Minister,

Colleagues,

We see in our meeting, which is taking place during a pandemic, evidence of the special importance of Russian-Italian relations.

We value the continuity in our relations which has lasted for many years, primarily owing to trust-based contacts at the top level.   

We, like our Italian friends, are convinced that in the current difficult situation for the world community, which has become even more aggravated as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to strengthen coordination in order to stand up to challenges and threats facing the whole of humankind.

Our economic cooperation has developed successfully. Jointly with the Russian co-chair, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov, you have just held the 17th session of the Russian-Italian Council on Economic, Industrial and Financial Cooperation (Economic Council). As far as I know, the session was highly productive.

Our countries have vast scope for humanitarian collaboration. Contacts in this area are based on the Programme of Cooperation in the Sphere of Culture, Education, Media, Youth Exchanges, Sport and Tourism effective until 2022.

Despite the restrictions caused by COVID-19, a number of planned events are being implemented, such as the Mariinsky Theatre’s concert tour of several Italian cities and an exhibition of Marc Chagall’s paintings from the collections of the Tretyakov Gallery and the Russian Museum.  Later this month, Milan will host an exhibition titled “Women in Russian Art: From Icons to Malevich and Goncharova.” This is just a small fraction of the projects carried out by our countries in various areas. We will talk about all this in detail later today. Given the acuteness of global and regional problems, we will focus on foreign policy collaboration.

Welcome once again.

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