Italy eyes expanding ties with Russia

12:37, September 11, 2010      

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Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Friday that his country intends to advance bilateral relations with Russia.

When meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the World Political Forum, Berlusconi said Italy views Russia as part of the Western world. The presidents of both countries share similar stances on many major issues discussed within the format of G-8 and G-20 summits.

When the former U.S. Bush administration planned to deploy missile shield systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, Berlusconi said, Italy voiced support for Russia that strongly opposed the deployment.

Italy, which obtains 30 percent of its energy supplies from Russia, also believed it was reasonable for Moscow to protest the U.S.'s bid for Ukrainian and Georgian accession to NATO, he added.

Medvedev, for his part, thanked Berlusconi for his attendance at the forum that was established one year ago upon the Russian president's proposal.

Russia has pinned hopes on the 2nd World Political Forum that opened on Thursday to transform it into a long-term event for global political leaders to discuss major international issues.

Source: Xinhua


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