Italy is one of the countries with which Russia has a major trade turnover despite EU sanctions against Moscow. Italian businesses are actively investing in Russia. Italian companies have always had faith in the Russian market and the trade ties between the two states are improving.

Italy and Russia have very close cultural and historical ties. Italy is very interested in its relationship with Russia in the geopolitical arena. Italy hopes that it can play a decisive role in restoring ties between Russia and the EU.

Italy is dependent on Russian gas and wants to get back to the Russian market. Italy needs access to the Russian market, while Russia needs Italy’s high technology for the development of its economy. So both countries are interested in the economic ties between them. Regardless of the sanctions and deteriorating political situation in the world, Russia and Italy continue to develop their bilateral relations.


  1. Veneto: The Council of Italy's Veneto region adopted a resolution calling for the country's government to condemn EU's Crimea policy and work toward lifting sanctions against Russia. Twenty-seven out of 51 members of the Regional Council voted in favor of the resolution, while nine voted against. The document was initiated by 25 out of 51 regional MPs, and calls on Italian authorities to condemn the EU's "discriminatory and unfair" policy on the Crimean issue, urging them to recognize the referendum on Crimea’s reunification with Russia. In just one year the Veneto region lost more than 600 million euro due to the decline in exports to Russia and faced a collapse of the prices for dairy products and fruits as a result of the embargo, which Moscow announced in retaliation to the EU sanctions. Veneto is determined to use any politic and diplomatic means to dismantle the sanctions regime between the European Union and Russia.
  2. Liguria: Italy’s Regional Parliament in Liguria unanimously voted in favor of a resolution calling for the Italian government to recognize Crimea as part of Russia and lift sanctions against Moscow. The resolution authorizes the regional authorities to appeal to the Italian government and the parliament of Italy as well as EU authorities in order review the relations between the EU and Russia. Liguria considers that sanctions are useless and are harmful to both Russia and Italy. Liguria historically had close relations with Russia, especially in the tourism sector. Russians are attracted to Liguria’s nature, Mediterranean cuisine and agricultural products. And it is agriculture that has been hit by the sanctions most of all, not to mention the reduction of the tourist inflow. The resolution calls for the creation of a special committee on the withdrawal of anti-Russian sanctions and suggests that the national government should condemn the EU’s foreign policy with regard to Crimea. Anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the EU have cost Italy € 3.6 billion. The decision of the regional government has no legal force, but on a political level this initiative cannot be ignored.
  3. Lombardy: The Regional Council if Lombardy adopted a resolution, calling to condemn the European Union’s policy on the Crimean issues and lift the anti-Russian sanctions. The resolution authorizes the chairman of Lombardy’s regional council and the head of the region to cooperate with the parliament of Italy, as well as with EU institutions in order to reconsider relations between Russia and the EU as well as to promote the establishment of a committee to collect signatures to lift anti-Russian sanctions.

Note: In 2017 the growth of total Italian export to Russia amounted to 18.9%, while the agrifood export increased 25.2% against 2016 despite ongoing Russian food embargo. The cooperation between Italy and Russia also runs actively in other spheres too: in 2018 13 bilateral contracts, including with “Rosneft” company, were signed with an estimated value of 1.5 bn euro.


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