The photo shows a general view of Rome, capital city of Italy, on January 28, 2018. (Xinhua/Shi Hao)
MOSCOW, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday he believed Russia's business cooperation with Italy will strengthen despite sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union.
"We are confident that, based on the objective interest of the business communities of the two countries in strengthening practical cooperation, the current turbulence in the world will not harm the prospects of Russian-Italian cooperation," he said.
The dynamics of Russian-Italian relations have been affected by the "sanction spiral promoted by Washington and Brussels," Lavrov admitted in an interview with the Russian Business Guide -- Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce magazine -- published on the Russian Foreign Ministry's website.
He said the trade turnover between Russia and Italy declined by 2.5 times in the period 2014-2016, but rose 20.8 percent in 2017, and that Russia perceived the situation with "restrained optimism."
Under the current circumstances, business circles of both countries are looking for new effective forms of interaction, he said.
According to Lavrov, larger Italian companies are working fruitfully in Russia, and Italian entrepreneurs have confirmed an interest in keeping and expanding their presences in Russia.