The main outcome of the meetings of the Italian delegation with the top officials of the Republic of Crimea was the signing of official documents. The Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov and President of the Regional Council of Veneto Roberto Ciambetti have affixed their signatures to a joint statement on the development of interregional cooperation. Simferopol Mayor Viktor Ageyev and Member of Padua Executive Council Marina Buffoni signed a memorandum on twin cities.
Cooperation in All Economic Sectors
Crimea is ready to offer investment opportunities to Italian companies and businessmen in all sectors of its economy, the head of the Republic of Crimea and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov told members of the Italian delegation.
“Crimea as a constituent entity of the Russian Federation is ready to offer the members of the delegation investment opportunities in every area. The Italian delegation includes many businessmen from different spheres, not only agriculture and agricultural product processing, but also the manufacture of metal structures, etc. Heady prospects are opening up. The visit turns a new page in our relations,” Mr. Aksyonov said.
The head of the Republic of Crimea also said he was confident that the Italian delegation’s visit would help to break the information blockade to enable people in the European Union to learn the truth about the situation in Crimea. “I am sure that the arrival of this delegation which includes deputies of the national parliament, regional parliaments and businessmen is a milestone event both for the Russian Federation and for the Republic of Crimea. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, speaking at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, said that Italy was a strategic partner of Russia. The Republic of Crimea as a constituent entity of the Russian Federation is ready to develop relations with Italian MPs, officials and business people,” the head of Crimea said.
Tancredi Turco, deputy of the Italian National Parliament, said that the policy of Italy’s national government on the issue of anti-Russian sanctions could change after the constitutional referendum to be held on 4 December of this year. If voters withhold support of the reform proposed by the ruling Democratic Party this would pave the way for the government to revise its position on some key domestic and foreign policy issues. “I hope that the referendum results will dramatically change the state of affairs in Italy,” Mr. Turco said.
He said he would continue to work to have the sanctions against Russia lifted. “I undertake to act in this direction although I am not sure of success in parliament because the majority today has the opposite opinion and comes out for continued sanctions,” the MP said. He added that under the current conditions trips by EU politicians to Crimea and joint statements could be more effective. “I hope that thanks to visits such as this one and such statements an end can be put to the embargo and the sanctions,” the MP said.
President of Regional Council of Veneto Roberto Ciambetti said that the sanctions regime was not aimed at achieving constructive goals. “Sanctions only make our peoples poorer. We hope it will be brought home to everyone that sanctions lead nowhere. They contradict our main aim of improving the welfare and wealth of people,” said Mr. Ciambetti.
Joint Statement by the Heads of Two Parliaments
The key point of the joint statement by the Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov and President of Regional Council of Veneto Roberto Ciambetti was the development of economic cooperation between the two regions.
“The parties are using every opportunity for mutually beneficial cooperation of business entities in the two regions, including cooperation between production and trade companies, direct and mutual investments, development and commercialisation of new technologies, the introduction of joint scientific projects and research,” the document says.
The joint statement also contains a provision on the development of cultural and tourist projects, including twinning of cities and strengthening of ties between the people of the Republic of Crimea and Veneto Region. “Regular exchange of delegations, participation in exhibitions, trade fairs and congresses will be the key element in developing bilateral cooperation,” the statement reads in part.
The statement also stresses that Vladimir Konstantinov and Roberto Ciambetti were signing the document “seeking to develop the interests of business entities registered in the Republic of Crimea and Veneto Region and to introduce joint projects based on mutual desire and mutual benefit.”
“This statement is a declaration of intent to create and develop relations in the cultural, economic and political fields,” Roberto Ciambetti said after the signing ceremony. “For us this is proof that anti-Russian sanctions are futile. We believe that our entrepreneurs will work together. Representatives of the Crimean and Italian business communities, representatives of the winemaking and agricultural sectors as well as metallurgy will meet in order to understand how to work together.”
During the meeting with Italian politicians and businessmen Vladimir Konstantinov stressed that Crimea has great economic potential and good prospects for cooperation with Italian regions. “Crimea is a unique holiday resort. Its recreational potential is truly unique. We are actively developing ethnic, green, scientific, speleological and other kinds of tourism, so there is really room for further joint activity,” said Mr. Konstantinov.
Padua and Simferopol Become Twin Cities
Marina Buffoni, member of Padua City Executive Council, and Viktor Ageyev, the head of Simferopol Municipality and Chairman of Simferopol City Council, have signed a five-year memorandum on cooperation between their cities. “The memorandum will guarantee friendship for five years. It may be the starting point for reviving economic, cultural and tourist cooperation between cities. We want to show that Padua would not bow to any pressure be it on the part of Ukraine or on the part of our government,” Ms. Buffoni said after the signing. “The first free university of Europe was founded in Padua, Padua has been a city of free spirit and reason and I think that this freedom will underpin the twin relations between Simferopol and Padua.”
In her opinion, the agreement will help to improve the quality of life and mutual understanding in the cities and make the cities more attractive places to live in. “I personally and other representatives of the Padua authorities are ready to cooperate in developing relations in trade, tourism and production spheres,” Marina Buffoni said.
Viktor Ageyev for his part said that the signing of the agreement was a milestone event for Simferopol. “It will give a boost to the development of Simferopol and Padua. We will be able to communicate, work together and exchange experience,” the Mayor of Simferopol noted.
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