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  Friday, December 13, 2019
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The turnover in trade between Russia and Italy in 2008 increased
The turnover in trade between Russia and Italy in 2008 increased by over half to exceed $50 billion, a Russian presidential aide said Friday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is due to pay a working visit to Italy on March 1 at the invitation of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.

"Bilateral trade turnover last year reached record volumes. On the results of 11 months of 2008 it exceeded the boundary of $50 billion, which is 52.5% more than for the same period in 2007," Sergei Prikhodko said.

Italy invested over $10 billion in Russia's economy in 2007.

The presidential aide said agreements reached in recent years in the fuel and energy sector, in high technologies and industrial cooperation contributed to trade and economic relations reaching a new level.

"Among the concrete steps of significance are included the construction of a new gas transportation system from Russia to southern Europe through the Black Sea water area [South Stream] and cooperation by Russian companies with Italian concern Finmeccanica [Superjet 100, cellular communications, transportation projects and the modernization of Russian railways]," Prikhodko said.

He added that cooperation was also underway in car production, the power industry and helicopter construction.

During their meeting Medvedev and Napolitano are due to discuss economic and humanitarian ties, the European security treaty, the current financial crisis and other issues.

Napolitano will also attend a ceremony which will see the handover of the city's St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, along with its buildings and land, in the Italian city of Bari to Russia's Orthodox Church, which the Kremlin described as the key event on the visit agenda.

The ceremony was initially scheduled for December 6, but it was postponed following the death of Patriarch Alexy II who headed the Russian Orthodox Church.

The agreement to transfer the church buildings to Russia was reached in March 2007. The 8,000-square meter complex, which includes a hospice and church, belonged to Russia in the early 20th century. In the mid-20th century the buildings and land were handed over to the Bari authorities.


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