Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
6 november 2008
Transcript of the beginning of the talk:
Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, it is a pleasure to greet you in Moscow.
I am very glad to see our relations becoming transformed into growing interstate contacts, which are developing in every field. What matters even more, Russian-Italian economic ties are an essential stability factor in a problem-laden situation in the global economy and finance.
We know you as Russia's great friend, and we are happy to see you.
Silvio Berlusconi (from interpreter's text): Thank you. I am also happy to be here and see you again. As you have said, we are here to sign a package of agreements in many fields. They concern not only energy and industry but also the social sphere-for instance, a reciprocal agreement on adoption. Cultural issues are also of tremendous interest.
During the negotiations, a good idea came to my mind-to declare 2011 the Year of Italian Culture and Language in Russia and, reciprocally, the Year of Russian Culture and Language in Italy, to be accompanied by many exchanges and cinematic, musical and athletic events.
I think relations between our countries are following the road we have always deemed the best for their development.
As I said at the news conference, our partnership can be considered strategic. I also said that Italy was presently Russia's second-closest partner in imports and exports-but we want to be your principal partner in every field.
Vladimir Putin: Excellent. Thank you. I would also like to add that our bilateral relations are developing dynamically. There are opportunities to work together in third markets or implement multilateral projects of European economic importance-for instance, our energy projects in Libya and some other countries.