Milan hosts Italy-Russia Forum

Milan conference to boost economic relations.

Despite the sanctions imposed on trade with Russia, Lombardy and in particular the province of Milan is managing to increase exports to the Russian Federation. A one-day forum in Milan’s Palazzo delle Stelline in Corso Magenta on 16 May aims to study how removing the sanctions could boost the local economy.

In 2013, the last year before sanctions were imposed, Italy’s exports to Russia were worth over €10 bn, but in 2017 they had dropped to €8 bn, despite an increase in worldwide export trade. This drop was reflected in the figures for Lombardy, always a leading region in export, where trade with Russia dropped from €3.1 bn to €2.3 bn over the same period.

To study the options for bilateral cooperation in the industry and energy sectors, Milanese MEP Stefano Maullu (photo) has organised a conference between business leaders form the two nations, with participation by Russian Ambassador to Italy Sergey Razov and Duma member Sergey Zheleznyak.

The aim of the forum, Maullu told the media, is to call for the dismantling of trade sanctions and re-establish the mutually advantageous relations which existed before they were imposed.

Total exports from Lombardy increased by 27 per cent – 37 per cent from Milan province alone – last year, and Maullu believes that the region and province could benefit considerably if sanctions could be reduced or cancelled.