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US Sanctions: Moscow ready to assist Italian firms in localizing production in Russia – Foreign Ministry

The Russian government will help Italian companies operating in the country to deal with losses resulting from Western sanctions, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

Sanctions targeting Moscow have hurt Russian-Italian trade; bilateral turnover has halved from $53.8 billion in 2013 to $26.9 billion in 2018, Russia’s top diplomat said in an interview with the Italian daily La Stampa. Meanwhile, Italian producers lost nearly $2 billion due to restrictions and there are still many entrepreneurs unwilling to leave the Russian market, according to Lavrov.

“We are ready to assist your companies in the transition from predominantly deliveries of ‘made in Italy’ products to the Russian market, to production cooperation based on the principle of ‘made with Italy’ with an emphasis on the localization of production in Russia,” the foreign minister explained.

Italy is one of Russia’s major trade partners after China, Germany, the Netherlands and Belarus, and about 500 Italian companies operating in the country.

“Italy was, is, and will remain [our] strategic European partner on all fronts,” Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said last Friday, when he met with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio at the Russian-Italian Council on Economic, Industrial, Currency and Financial Cooperation.

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