The meeting was held as part of the Italian Prime Minister’s official visit to the Russian Federation.
Excerpts from the transcript:
Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Prime Minister, distinguished colleague, let me extend my heartfelt greetings to you. We met recently at the Asia-Europe Meeting in Brussels, and now we have an opportunity to exchange views on Russian-Italian relations. Let me start by wishing you every success as President of the Council of Ministers of Italy. I am certain that your meeting today with President Putin and the talks and other events that will take place as part of your visit will be really important, giving a new impetus to our relations.
We have already had a brief conversation on current developments over dinner. It is obvious that Russian-Italian relations are in pretty good shape. Despite certain challenges, trade has been on the rise. It all gets much more complicated in terms of Russia’s relations with the European Union. However, that is not what this visit is about. Today, we are here to discuss Russian-Italian cooperation. Once again, let me extend my heartfelt greetings to you.
Giuseppe Conte (via interpreter): Mr Prime Minister, I have very warm memories of our meeting in Brussels. This is already the second time we have met today. It is easier for us to establish personal, friendly relations because the friendship between our countries has already been strengthened by a long-standing tradition of strong cultural, trade and economic ties. I would like to convey to you the sincere affection and special care that Italians feel for the Russian people. The Italian people have this feeling despite all the current challenges and the tension between the West and the East. Of course, these tensions and challenges do not help. If we want our relations to remain as direct and broad as they are, we need to carry on with our work and engage in meaningful dialogue. This is why I am here today. Thank you.